The ultimate guide to smart office success

Everything you need to know about leveraging smart office technology to succeed with your business

In recent years, the office and the way we use it have undergone a massive transformation. In today’s global economy -where employees are every organization’s most valuable asset- it is no longer enough to simply provide your employees with a roof, an internet connection, and a desk to work. Your business success depends on how well you support your employees to work, collaborate and solve complex problems. How do you make sure your office ticks all the boxes to accomplish the future vision of your business? Whether you’re new to the concept of smart office technology or looking to maximize your returns, this guide provides you with everything you need to know to start transforming your office into one of your biggest drivers for your business’s growth.

Section 1

A quick smart office refresher

What is a smart office?

For centuries, people have been getting up, joining the daily commute and retreating to a room that is designated just for work.

Thankfully, many workspaces have progressed beyond the uninspiring walls of concrete they once were. They have now evolved into unique and intelligent buildings that enable autonomy, drive collaboration and significantly improve business performance.

Why are smart offices on the rise?

Next came the digital revolution and the rise of businesses with flexible work hours. These businesses started to realize how buildings could be used smartly and more effectively to make their workforce most productive. Technological innovations began to turn offices into pleasant spaces to spend time in, and, in turn, make people who work there more effective. Smart offices were officially born.

How do smart offices work?

Smart offices use smart sensors and Wi-Fi to collect data. This data is then accessible to decision-makers and employees in real-time through mobile applications and web browsers.

Smart offices can be integrated with several different platforms:

  • Room booking systems
  • Smart lockers
  • Smart parking
  • Building management systems (BMS)

For example, a workplace sensor measures if a workspace is being used in real-time. Employees can use their app to see which workplaces are available or look around for smart desks with green lights that indicate a space is available.

"It's not an accident that the best places to work are also the places that make the most money."

-Gordon Bethune, former CEO and chairman of Continental Airlines

Section 2

The benefits of a smart office

Employee benefits

On a practical as well as an operational level, smart offices are highly beneficial for employees. The smart office technology enables them to have a frictionless day at work by simplifying their day-to-day activities:

  • Booking rooms for planned or ad-hoc meetings
  • Finding workspaces that match their goals (Activity-based working)
  • Finding facilities (parking/coffee/printing)
  • Finding colleagues faster
  • Quickly organizing ad-hoc meetings
  • Finding directions when visiting another location

Management benefits

Smart offices allow company leaders to gain insights into what employees need to have a great day at work and how they actually use the office.As a result, smart offices let managers make data-driven decisions to realize growth and take their business to the next level. On a strategic and tactical level, these insights are especially beneficial for the following:

  • Operation managers
  • Change managers
  • Real estate managers
  • HR Managers
  • C-level Partners

Tip: Click on any management role to learn more about how smart offices help leaders in specific functions.

The effects on employee well-being

Business leaders who use smart technology to give employees more control over their day at work can directly improve overall employee well-being. Eliminating unnecessary employee frustrations also helps boost morale.

As a leader in your business, you know that employees who feel well, perform better. The American Psychological Association backs your personal experience. Their study (2016) shows that 91% of workers feel motivated to do their best if their company is led by leaders who support well-being.

Another study (The Henry Miller Group, 2014) reveals multiple other benefits of employee well-being that might surprise you:

  • Higher employee engagement
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Reduction in health care costs

What are you doing to improve the well-being of your employees?

Our downloadable ‘pyramid of workplace well-being’ is packed with ideas and inspiration to get you started.

Productivity

Business leaders who use smart technology to give employees more control over their day at work can directly improve overall employee well-being. Eliminating unnecessary employee frustrations also helps boost morale.

As a leader in your business, you The costs related to low occupancy rates and office ‘no shows’ might surprise you. Did you know the average cost of a desk (office space) is €15.000 a yea. he reason why smart offices are known for their positive impact on business results is two-fold. On the one hand, smart offices lead to significant cost reductions in multiple areas, and on the other hand, they help your employees create more value for your business.

The cost reduction best impacts the following:

  • Building costs (accomplish more with less square meters)
  • Operating costs (less wastage of time and energy)

Employees can generate more business value due to improved processes:

  • Efficiency in work, resulting in better quality output in less time
  • More meaningful team collaboration
  • Increased employee satisfaction leading to increased motivation

More specifically, a study by the American Psychological Association (2016) reveals that the return on investment (ROI) of wellness initiatives is about $30 per month per employee. Employers got back roughly $3.80 for every $1.00 spent on employees.

It’s becoming evident that incorporating employee well-being as a core value can give your company an enormous boost.

that employees who feel well, perform better. The American Psychological Association backs your personal experience. Their study (2016) shows that 91% of workers feel motivated to do their best if their company is led by leaders who support well-being.

Another study (The Henry Miller Group, 2014) reveals multiple other benefits of employee well-being that might surprise you:

  • Higher employee engagement
  • Decreased absenteeism
  • Reduction in health care costs

What are you doing to improve the well-being of your employees?

Our downloadable ‘pyramid of workplace well-being’ is packed with ideas and inspiration to get you started.

Cost reduction

The costs related to low occupancy rates and office ‘no shows’ might surprise you. Did you know the average cost of a desk (office space) is €15.000 a year?

Click on one of the costs above to learn how smart offices help reduce them.

The reason why smart offices are known for their positive impact on business results is two-fold. On the one hand, smart offices lead to significant cost reductions in multiple areas, and on the other hand, they help your employees create more value for your business.

The cost reduction best impacts the following:

  • Building costs (accomplish more with less square meters)
  • Operating costs (less wastage of time and energy)

Employees can generate more business value due to improved processes:

  • Efficiency in work, resulting in better quality output in less time
  • More meaningful team collaboration
  • Increased employee satisfaction leading to increased motivation

More specifically, a study by the American Psychological Association (2016) reveals that the return on investment (ROI) of wellness initiatives is about $30 per month per employee. Employers got back roughly $3.80 for every $1.00 spent on employees.

It’s becoming evident that incorporating employee well-being as a core value can give your company an enormous boost.

Sustainable development

Companies that utilize smart offices instead of regular offices allow the regulation of optimal employee capacity and hence require fewer buildings. Moreover, smart office technology significantly decreases the energy needed to operate effectively in your remaining offices. This has a direct effect on your companies’ ecological footprint.

Companies that embrace smart office solutions can significantly improve their sustainability score. For instance, the highest sustainability score ever was rewarded to smart office The Edge.

Watch The Edge, a smart, green building in Amsterdam, the European capital of innovation for 2016.

Health protection

Now that employees can start to return to offices, ensuring their safety from COVID-19 is of utmost importance. Even though not all employees may return, it can still be challenging to comply with the 1.5-meter social distancing rule. Our data shows that available desks will decrease by an average of 43% as a result of the pandemic.

We can help build your smart office by doing the following:

  1. Calculating your new office capacity
  2. Identifying who is in the office and where
  3. Analyzing the occupancy per floor

Read more about our COVID-19 solutions in this article.

"It’s time to rethink work. Don’t build bigger. Build smarter."

- Sander Schutte, CEO Mapiq

Section 3

Smart office solutions for traditional office problems

Smart offices make office life more efficient, easier and empower employees to get the most out of their day. What tools and solutions does Mapiq offer to eliminate traditional office problems and transform them into a competitive advantage for your business?

Office capacity calculators

the smallest ambiguities can quickly turn into frustration that negatively influence your employees’ mindset.

One of the most common frustrations in offices that transition from assigned desks into flexible seating, is ambiguity around available workplaces. Too many businesses let their employees do the hard work of identifying which workspaces are available for that particular day. The same also applies to finding colleagues - no tools are provided to help employees find that colleague to quickly align with or to get an approval from.

Desk booking

Offices with assigned desks may damage productivity. Why? Independence in our work is one of the essential psychological human needs to enjoy our job.

Studies demonstrate that, on average, about half of the workforce in a company is unhappy. The Conference Board shows that in 2019 only 56.3% of Americans were satisfied with their job. The lack of autonomy and belonging are amongst the main drivers of job dissatisfaction.

The Mapiq solution

The Mapiq Desk Booking App allows your employees to easily book a workplace that matches their goals for that part of the day. When employees feel the freedom to work flexibly and autonomously, workplace satisfaction increases and employees feel more autonomous. Research (Effectory) shows that 79% of autonomous employees are engaged at their work.

Read more about the benefits of Desk booking

Desk sensors

Successful businesses know that there is no such thing as communicating too clearly. Even the smallest ambiguities can quickly turn into frustration that negatively influence your employees’ mindset.

One of the most common frustrations in offices that transition from assigned desks into flexible seating, is ambiguity around available workplaces. Too many businesses let their employees do the hard work of identifying which workspaces are available for that particular day. The same also applies to finding colleagues - no tools are provided to help employees find that colleague to quickly align with or to get an approval from.

The Mapiq solution

Mapiq’s workplace sensors are located underneath your desks and quickly show employees which workplaces are available. Additionally, the onboard iBeacon transmitter helps your employees locate each other quickly and easily.

By implementing the workplace sensors in your offices, employees waste less time wandering through the office to find a suitable workspace, and demonstrate to them that their time matters.

Occupancy insights

Noise and crowded office spaces are two of the most common reasons that trigger employee frustration. Many businesses are unable to analyze the spaces that are too crowded for employees to work effectively, let alone determine the best strategies to make the necessary adjustments.

The Mapiq solution

Mapiq Heatmaps show how concentrations of people are spread around the building at specific moments. As a result, you can easily detect overcrowded areas. The Mapiq Analytics Dashboard collects the data and analyzes it into quantified statistics and empower managers to make responsible decisions for their business.

Read more about the benefits of Heatmaps

Building analytics

For managers, it can be difficult to know who is in the office and at what time. Many businesses lack insight into which buildings, floors and sections are utilized to their best potential. Consequently, it is difficult to have oversight of which buildings or floors can be downsized, leaving the company with unnecessary high operating costs.  

The Mapiq solution

With Mapiq’s Building Analytics, management can manage occupancy by optimizing the space and ensuring effective usage and sharing of facilities. With personalized dashboards, they have real-time insight into occupancy numbers to drive the decisions to reduce the operating costs while maintainging employee well-being

Read more about the benefits of Building Analytics

Colleague finding

Meetings help your employees collaborate, strengthen the team, and resolve issues. However, finding a suitable meeting room is a continuing challenge in many businesses. Available meeting rooms may be incorrect in size, lack the necessary equipment, or there simply isn’t a room available when needed

Especially when creativity strikes and people want to organize an ad-hoc meeting, the lack of proper meeting rooms often results in frustration and decreased morale.

The Mapiq solution

Mapiq’s Room Booking encourages employee collaboration. This intuitive application helps employees connect at work, decrease the risk of meeting room ‘no-shows’ and saves time. With this solution, employees can reserve an available meeting room quickly and easily.

Light & temperature control

Meetings help your employees collaborate, strengthen the team, and resolve issues. However, finding a suitable meeting room is a continuing challenge in many businesses. Available meeting rooms may be incorrect in size, lack the necessary equipment, or there simply isn’t a room available when needed.

Especially when creativity strikes and people want to organize an ad-hoc meeting, the lack of proper meeting rooms often results in frustration and decreased morale.

The Mapiq solution

Mapiq’s Room Booking encourages employee collaboration. This intuitive application helps employees connect at work, decrease the risk of meeting room ‘no-shows’ and saves time. With this solution, employees can reserve an available meeting room quickly and easily.

Smart lockers

Meetings help your employees collaborate, strengthen the team, and resolve issues. However, finding a suitable meeting room is a continuing challenge in many businesses. Available meeting rooms may be incorrect in size, lack the necessary equipment, or there simply isn’t a room available when needed.

Especially when creativity strikes and people want to organize an ad-hoc meeting, the lack of proper meeting rooms often results in frustration and decreased morale.

"It’s super important for us that everybody in our organization has a sense of belonging."

- Fran Katsoudas, Cisco

Section 4

How to start your smart office journey

Once you are convinced of the benefits of smart office solutions, you’re probably wondering how to best get started. As a smart office expert, we are here to help with that journey.

Follow these steps to start creating your smart office:

1. Determine your goals

As with all business decisions, it is best to start with the end in mind. What role do you want your offices to play in your future business? How do you want employees to feel and talk about your office? Leaders who clarify their future vision will get more people on board and ultimately enjoy better results.

2. Talk with the right experts

When building smart offices isn’t your day-to-day business, it’s easy to overlook certain opportunities. Are you looking to make it easier for your employees to see what workplaces are available? Maybe you can empower them to find colleagues with the same technology (hint: you can). Talking to the right smart office experts in the early phase helps you develop a holistic business approach. It can also significantly decrease the risk of making smart office pitfalls that can result in unnecessary, additional costs.

3. Define your measurables

The future of the smart office will continuously evolve and transform. Having access to in-depth occupancy data allows you to make decisions that further optimize your offices in the future. Therefore, it is crucial to only collaborate with parties that guarantee to give you the required insights. Don’t settle for anything less than complete transparency.

Ready to create a great place to work where your employees feel autonomous, aligned and productive?

Our smart office experts are ready to help you establish a personalized action plan! Contact us today!

Section 5

What to expect from a smart office?

Companies who embrace smart office solutions can expect big returns on their investment. What do those returns look like? Let’s explore some real-world examples.

Real-world business results

The results you gain from your smart office transition depend on your starting point and your strategy. The results of our clients include the following:

Inspirational quotes

Smart offices are a hot topic among many business leaders. Here’s what they have to say.

"One of the best ways we can compete for talent is to offer the most creative, collaborative, and innovative workspace."

- R/GA’s Founder, CEO, and Chairman Bob Greenbergin an interview with Forbes

"Thanks to Mapiq, the building is a technologically advanced workspace that enhances cooperation between people."

- Peter de Haan, Site Director AkzoNobel

"Mapiq enables our employees to work smarter by helping them easily find free meeting rooms ad-hoc, without the need to make reservations upfront."

- Jan Dhaenens, Change Management Lead Collaborative Workplace at Proximus

"Mapiq makes it possible to find available workplaces quickly and adjust these to my personal preferences. As a result, my workdays become much more productive."

- Mick Jones, a daily Mapiq user at the Unilever headquarters in New Jersey

"The Mapiq app helps our employees have the workspace that they need at the moment that they need it."

- Coen van Oostrom, Founder & CEO OVG Real estate

Inspiring smart office examples

Be inspired by companies around the globe that benefit from their smart buildings:

Section 6

Conclusions and next steps

cables. It is about rethinking how you can use your buildings for employee well-being and business growth. Your offices and buildings should aim to drive connectivity and efficiency throughout your entire organization.

Read more about smart offices in the links in this article and request a demo to discover how smart office solutions can drive your business results. Whether you are updating an existing building smart or creating a new smart building, read more on the implementation strategies for both:

  • Everything you Need to Know About Making Your Existing Building Smart
  • Everything you Need to Know About Building a smart office  

Contact us today to learn more about how your organization can benefit from our smart office solutions.

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Contact us today to learn more about how your organization can benefit from our smart office solutions.

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