Ask any executive responsible for facilities management or IT this question, and you’ll get a variety of intelligent answers along with some interesting questions.
And some will have no idea, including those in the c-suite. Ask ASD, and it’s the start of an engaging conversation. We like to look forward, listen to our clients, and stay up on the latest advances in technology for the workplace. As technology solution designers and consultants, it’s our job to have the answers for you, but it’s also our passion.
We have plenty to say about solutions for the latest and greatest in smart buildings, optimized workspaces, collaborative environments, unified communications, and security but that’s what our website, is all about.
We also listen to informed influencers like the twelve members of The Forbes Technology Council that recently shared their ideas in an article entitled The 12 Technology Platforms Your Office Needs To Step Into the Future.
Based on ASD’s many frontline engagements with clients across the country, we can agree with most of this list with a few exceptions and additional insights. We added our thoughts below theirs.
1. Reliable Conference Lines
“This is so basic, but it’s amazing how many offices lack a reliable service for conference and video calls.” – Daniel Brackett, Extreme Reach
This should go without saying, but we consistently see clients who attempt to save money by leveraging 3rd and 4th party conferencing solutions. Don’t cut corners on connectivity. Be confident in your workplace technology, especially in your conferencing capabilities.
2. Diverse Communication Tools
“The biggest challenge is communicating ideas, either from one discipline to another or across time and space.” – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket
As technology consultants in both design and deployment, we represent a virtually unlimited array of solutions from the world’s leading brands. Understanding how to optimize the integrations across this ever-evolving landscape is a challenge for most companies, and that’s where we help out.
3. Cloud-based Platforms
“Every office should use cloud-based platforms to protect data and make it accessible to those authorized to have it.” – Chalmers Brown, Due
In general, if clients haven’t already aggressively moved their organization towards this platform, they are behind their competition. The speed and efficiency of utilizing cloud-based platforms to improve operational effectiveness cannot be understated.
4. Balancing Smart Tech and Eco-Friendly Architecture
“We future-proof by creating a fine balance between smart technologies, cutting-edge materials and doing the responsible thing for our environment.” – Ivailo Nikolov, SiteGround
In today’s competitive business climate a company needs to be able to increase their collaboration and creativity while at the same time looking to decrease their “carbon footprint”. This can lead to great efficiencies and a greener world. The IoT platform and all technologies should be focused on these efforts.
5. Sit/Stand and IOT
“To promote employee wellness and collaboration, every office should be using Live OS, an IoT system that connects sit/stand desks.” – Kurt Dykema, Twisthink
Any opportunity to provide a healthier work environment for your workforce is worth considering. If it contributes to productivity, even better.
6. Robust Private Office Network
“Planning for the future of any office should include the creation of a robust, fiber-based, private office network.” – Chris Kirby, Voices.com
We support many organizations in designing, installing, and maintaining these systems – serving single-site customers, as well as those with a national footprint.
7. Dependable Wi-Fi
“Dependable Wi-Fi is key to keeping employees in the zone.” – Christian Johan Smith, TrackR
It will be interesting to see where the communication/copper connectivity markets go over the next five years. In the past, we would see multiple cables pulled to workstations, today the number of cables has continued to decrease while the individual office Wifi user has drastically increased the number of BYO devices in the average space.
8. Internet-of-Things Technology
“Devices like smart thermostats extend the lifespan of expensive HVAC equipment by optimizing system use, and the cost savings of smart energy management can be reinvested elsewhere.” – James McPhail, Zen Ecosystems
We are living in the Internet of Things (IoT) Age. ASD helps our clients identify and respond to the opportunities associated with IoT through our range of design and deployment services and the leading IoT technology brands we represent.
9. Multi-factor Security
“Every modern-day office needs to be armed with multi-factor security.” – Tammy Cohen, InfoMart
Now, more than ever, security is both a concern and responsibility in the workplace. Optimal LED interior and exterior lighting, secure building access and surveillance controls, and mass notification and paging systems are included in the solutions we provide to our client.
“No matter what changes in the technological playing field, there will always be a need for robust, effective cybersecurity.” – Ben Lee, Neon Roots
The threat of a data breach is an ever-present reality in today’s workplace. A secure environment must be equipped to guard against gaps in both physical, and cybersecurity including communications, data storage and malicious or negligent employee behavior.
11. Electronic Whiteboards
“This will save time with note-taking and printing, thus increasing productivity.” – David Lefever, The Mako Group
There are a lot of slick options available; however, we’ve noticed over the years a significant “lack of use” by clients who invest in this technology. We’ve even seen on multiple occasions, clients accidentally using ink markers on the screens. While this may be a great solution for some businesses, especially in conference rooms, others prefer collaboration work sessions via multiple laptops and wall-mounted monitors while working within smaller collaborative spaces.
12. A Great Pair of Headphones
“Many workspaces are too loud and chaotic to concentrate on work.” – Jeremy Williams, Vyudu
This is one way to solve the problem of noisy office distractions. Another is designing variable environment sound masking technology. This provides a less stressful and more private experience for everyone in the workplace. If headphones are your choice, we can personally vouch for Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II.
All things considered, we believe technology innovations in the workplace should be driven by the degree to which they improve productivity, reduce stress, and improve the physical environment and experience for your workforce.
What will be the top innovations and improvements to your workplace in the near future? Whatever you have in mind, if you have any questions, we welcome you to Ask ASD!
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