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Smart Office

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IWFM teams with Microsoft for smart workplaces

The IWFM has begun a research and development collaboration with Microsoft to explore a shared vision for the role of technology in high performing workplaces.

A new programme themed around connected and smart workplaces will see the partners collaborate on new research that could influence workplace performance.

The collaboration will be launched during Workplace Week on 14 November 2019 with an industry event, while ongoing research, insights and guidance content being shared throughout 2020.  

The IWFM says advancements such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data, combined with existing technologies such as building information modelling, analytics and workplace design can contribute to improved building and business outcomes. 

As such, exploring the theme of workplace transformation in the technological age, the IWFM and Microsoft will jointly introduce new research to equip workplace and business leaders with tools and insights that could to transform their organisations into connected high performers.

The move follows research published by the IWFM last year, Embracing Technology to move FM forward, which explored the disruption and opportunities presented by technology and highlighted the opportunity cost of missing out on the digital upgrade.  

It suggested that the opportunities to be derived from creatively combining existing and new technologies to support better outcomes leave workplace professionals well placed to help businesses to stay competitive and efficient.

The IWFM says its alliance with Microsoft will combine the know-how of its own industry experts with the cutting-edge capability of the tech giant’s Smart Buildings team to explore the opportunities and challenges facing technology and workplace development. The programme will generate further insights to help individuals and organisations understand and navigate the technology and experience matters which can combine to create people centred workplaces capable of driving better outcomes.

Chris Moriarty, IWFM’s Director of Insight and Engagement, said: “We are taking, shaping and making future-ready the workplace technology conversation so its relevant to today’s businesses environment. The collaboration with Microsoft Smart Buildings team will harness our rich knowledge and resources to offer workplace optimising insights for the future, building on IWFM’s established research base. Working with Microsoft will not only speed that up, it can help us to understand the innovation most relevant for workplace leaders whose businesses will need a tech transformation to compete effectively.”

David Williams, Innovation Architect – Microsoft Digital, Smart Buildings Worldwide Community Lead, said: “Technology innovation is a gamechanger to drive new models and transform today’s businesses and workplaces. Working with IWFM, we have a unique opportunity to increase awareness of technology within the workplace. This partnership will enable us to empower workplace leaders to elevate the workplace conversation to senior levels and do more with the technology and innovation available. 

Kari Allen, Head of Partnerships at b2b partnerships Ltd, who led the development of IWFM’s collaboration with Microsoft, said: “This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to jointly produce market leading research and insights that are unique and impactful. This collaboration boosts both IWFM and Microsoft’s aspiration to inspire and equip workplace and business leaders to transform their workplaces today into high performing organisations for the future”.

Smart Office Buildings

Smart office buildings are the next big trend, says new report

A new British Land report co-produced with Worktech Academy has detailed the rise of the smart office building within the next 12 month period.

The report explains that key pieces of smart office structure are already available, including intelligent building management systems, location-aware beacons and sensors, and workplace apps.

Over the next 12 months smart buildings will start to communicate with each other properly as open protocols come on stream.

By 2020 the report predicts that the physical infrastructure of an office building – including what office workers themselves carry or wear – will be part of one complete smart system, generating and autonomously acting upon all kinds of data.

The smart office building uses internet-enabled technology to gather data and bring all off its key operating systems under one central control, creating a better workplace by bringing a range of different elements together.

The benefits detailed within the report are an enhanced user experience that helps to increase productivity, attract and retain talent, support wellbeing and promote corporate brand values.

Smart buildings also have the advantage of reducing costs and lessening environment impact by using space more efficiently.

The report continues: “What makes the smart office so potentially significant for occupiers is the impact on human performance at every level – operational, environmental and strategic. Smart buildings are easier to run and maintain, and they can adapt to change. They thus offer real benefits to occupiers of every type.

“The smart office can be described as a journey, not a destination. Smart technologies are evolving all the time and the picture never stands still. But something important is coming into focus right now, and companies are beginning to understand the benefits of smart buildings; not just saving on energy bills, but also producing an environment that can be optimised for the tasks their particular business and employees need to achieve, which in turn leads to greater wellbeing and productivity and, ultimately, boosts talent attraction and retention.”