Jan 10, 2019 in Viewpoint
The trends of 2019
It’s that predicting time of year again, where companies and influencers look ahead to the coming twelve months. Smart building trends are developing faster than ever and here at Mapiq, we are right in the thick of it leading the way. Here are some trends we see becoming dominant in smart facilities in 2019.
The formula to describe well-being
Everyone’s on a quest for the holy grail of workplace productivity and well-being: a way to measure it. The stakes are high because employees are an organisation’s most valuable asset. The recent formulation of the 3-30-300 rule points out that managers often estimate the cost per square foot as an order of magnitude along the lines of €3 for utilities, €30 for rent and €300 for employee salaries and benefits. With so much value in each employee, it’s important to help them work to their highest potential, but it also isn’t easy.
All of this makes demonstrating the ROI of investing in office spaces that support people as important as it is difficult. Some managers avoid metrics altogether, gambling they will learn as they go to measure what’s important. Others prefer soft metrics, such as trying to put a number on employee satisfaction and engagement. Still others defer measurement into the future, minimising expenses while waiting for a business case to emerge.
This year, Mapiq is leading the charge to find a way to quantify peak performance, so it can be tracked and inspired. Our goal is a concrete number that represents the productivity, engagement and happiness gain that employees gain from a smart building. There are currently many numbers attesting to pieces of the puzzle, but this year we’re going to search for the formula that says it all.
Our goal is a concrete number that represents the productivity, engagement and happiness gain that employees gain from a smart building.
Developing a sense for sensors
This year, people are going to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to sensors. There are so many high-quality sensors on the market these days. They can detect everything from occupancy to motion to temperature. With such an abundance of choice, it can be tempting to just get the newest and shiniest.
However, companies are becoming aware of the fact that choosing the right sensor is complicated. Not only do sensors vary in pricing and quality but so do their uses. There are sensors that work well together and others that won’t fit into a particular building’s system.
In the coming year, companies will focus on which information is actually necessary. Product functions will become less important than what company needs are being answered by them. Companies will be moving away from low prices or added conveniences and towards products suited to actual needs.
Corpoworking space, the new frontier
We are witnessing the rise of ‘corpoworking’, a shiny new trend that is only picking up steam in 2019. Corporations saw the advantages freelancers were getting from shared collaborative workspaces - which have grown so fast that there are now 19,000+ worldwide - and decided they want in. A contraction of the words “corporate” and “co-working”, this new type of workplace (within the workplace) aims to create an open, shared and collaborative space at the office, and the results have been huge!
Teams temporarily stationed at another workplace worked better and faster than their colleagues and reported greater satisfaction and engagement. The real revolution in coworking may turn out have less to do with freelancers or startups than with employees of large companies working beyond organisational boundaries.
Community managers are crucial to fostering this type of environment. Traditionally non-existent in the corporate world, they typically help select, vet, onboard and connect new users with existing ones. They also organise the space, arbitrate conflicts and host events. User satisfaction surveys consistently rank them as one of the best features of this type of space. Technology is also emerging to facilitate some of these tasks, and we believe it has a lot of potential.
Workplaces are a secret weapon in the War for Talent
Employer brand is more important than ever before. If employees are your most valuable asset, you want to get the best you can find and reputation is a big part of that. Top candidates will seek out companies known to be great employers. If a company doesn’t have this image, or worse, is thought to be a bad place to work, it can be really difficult to get good people.
The office environment is a big part of this image - and surprisingly overlooked for a place we spend so much time in. Workplace branding is an important yet underrated element of running a business. Basically, it’s all about shaping the dynamics, infrastructure and décor of an office so that it reflects the company’s themes and values.
Workplace branding is much more than covering the office in a certain colour or displaying the company logo everywhere. It’s about designing the office creatively and enhancing every aspect that can influence productivity. Technology can’t be overlooked in this process anymore. For example, systems that enhance employee control can reflect the value of employee autonomy and responsibility. 2019 will see more people using office design and technology to win over the best employees.
As technology evolves, so do the possibilities it offers. New Year’s predictions are a good chance to stop and take an inventory. Are we making the best use of the tools we have in front of us? What do we think we will need in the coming months? Hopefully, our predictions here are food for thought now and astonishment what we look back in December!
2019 will see more people using office design and technology to win over the best employees.
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As technology evolves, so do the possibilities it offers. New Year’s predictions are a good chance to stop and take an inventory. Are we making the best use of the tools we have in front of us? What do we think we will need in the coming months?
Hopefully, our predictions here are food for thought now and astonishment what we look back in December!
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