12 Days of Trends: The Autonomous Workplace

We’re counting down to 2020 by sharing 12 days of emerging workplace trends! Learn what trends our top global contributors are most excited to see evolve in the new year. 

Trend 12 of 12: Why we need to design space that supports freedom of movement and is designed to operate without direct human control.

People today are becoming untethered to their desks and have the ability to work anytime, anywhere. We need to design space that supports freedom of movement and is designed to operate without direct human control. Smart tech can help create a truly intelligent, autonomous workplace designed to the specific needs of individuals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices embedded with sensors and actuators that enable the collection and exchange of data. This creates direct integration of the physical world to improve efficiency and create smart buildings. There are currently approximately seven sensors for every person and by 2020 the IoT could encompass nearly 50 billion objects.

A smart work environment uses sensors to collect information about the physical environment and its users and leverages that data to optimize the space. Beacons, sensors and cameras can all communicate with building systems and employee smartphones to enhance the experience for all. Employers can leverage this information to analyze the patterns and preferences of their workforce. Ambient computing—an ecosystem of network technology that responds in real time to what’s happening in the business environment—is laying the foundation for an autonomous workplace. By tracking utilization, noting preferences and identifying patterns, sensors provide intelligence that can boost productivity and enhance the user experience.

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