Automating your home is big business, everyone seems to be fully invested in the idea of transforming an ordinary space in to a “smart home”, and such spaces have a multitude benefits. Home automation systems allow you to control lighting and electrical systems, aiding relaxation and boosting the sense of luxury in your home, but how can they help you in the office?
Smart office automation systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, as employers look to alternative methods of modernising their systems and interior and keeping their employees happy and motivated.
When investing in external products for the office environment also cuts usual energy costs, and assists in boosting profit margins, it’s no wonder that such systems are being used across a wide variety of business types and environments.
As long as you have an enthusiastic work force, a well-priced office and the equipment you need to run your business smoothly each day, you might not even contemplate investing in additional services or equipment.
However, true entrepreneurs are always looking for innovative ways to keep their business not only ahead of their competition in terms of modern standards, but also in terms of productivity, efficiency and worth.
Consequently, this can mean breaking away from tradition, and setting new standards by investing in products that can keep costs down and productivity high. No one ever got anywhere sticking to a typewriter over a pc, did they?
So how can smart office automation systems help your business? Read on for a comprehensive list of advantages that may just persuade you to invest, (or better still, remind you of the benefits you are reaping over your competition that are not working from an automated office space).
When it comes to productivity in the office environment, there are a variety of factors that can contribute both positively and negatively.
Even small things such as the volume of the office radio can rock the proverbial boat, and go a long way in diminishing staff productivity in an instant.
One of the most common complaints from those that work in an office environment, or use computer systems throughout the day is tiredness or painful eyes.
When an employee isn’t feeling their best, work output can be severely diminished.
In the past, employers have focused on ways in which they can be more efficient, and have often come up with longer working hours, unsociable working hours, or additional tasks for employees.
Although seemingly common solutions, such actions have often led to employees building up resentment towards their employers and their work, leading to de-motivated individuals and a significantly reduced work output.
One smart office automation system that is popular in both office environments and warehouses is climate controls.
The weather is something that we all love to talk about, however, small talk on mindless topics is not something that is often welcomed in to the workplace, particularly when it distracts the attention of staff members.
Keeping your work space at a comfortable temperature will not only ensure the comfort of your employees, having an optimum room temperature can also help battle fatigue for maximum work output.
The Device: Smart Thermostats
A wide range of heating and air conditioning brands now offer smart thermostats, and of course, each one varies in technology and user rating.
One device that has received consistently high user ratings is the Honeywell evohome.
When you consider the phrases “smart office” or “smart home”, it is not uncommon for images of luxury and greatly advanced technological devices to be conjured up.
However, being readily available from a wide variety of suppliers and starting from £249, the device is significantly cheaper than one may expect.
The Honeywell evohome provides users with incredible flexibility when it comes to the temperature of their space.
Not content with simply timing when the heating or air conditioning with comes on, this smart office automation system allows its users to map what room they would like the temperature to be changed in, whilst the heating systems in other rooms remain switched off.
In most offices, there are likely to be rooms that are not utilised all day every day, so why heat these rooms and waste energy? Control how warm or cool your office space will be, what rooms receive heat, and when your heating comes on all from one easy to use control panel.
Many invest in smart office automation systems purely to heighten the aesthetic appeal of the space.
With automated heating and air conditioning controls, you can utilise a remote control, a touch screen panel, or even your mobile device, along with a Wi-Fi connection to set the features of your system, so it works without you having to lift a finger.
Set your preferences and then invite your clients in for a business meeting that will leave them impressed.
Smart Thermostats Reviews
Accredited website pcadvisor.co.uk conducts reviews on a wide range of technological devices and calls the Honeywell evohome “the best smart heating system we’ve tested”.
Pc Advisor pitted well known German technology company tado against Honeywell, and tested their products over the period of a year or more, to give an honest and in depth review of the system.
Of course, the most appropriate and most efficient system for your office will depend entirely on your needs, so it can be incredibly helpful to get an assessment of your space carried out, before investing in any smart office automation systems, keeping your cash flow steady and your office space only functioning in the most efficient way.
Everyone wants to save more money, and when it comes to business, having the means by which to cut costs and still work in the best way is of paramount importance.
Unlike other smart office automation systems, The Honeywell evohome can help users save money straight away, reducing the cost of energy bills in an instant, and helping businesses boost their profit margin.
So, What Does this mean…
In the past, programable thermostats seemed to be the answer to everyone’s prayers. Offering users the ability to set the time their heating or air conditioning would come on, it is not surprising that programable thermostats seemed like the best way to cut energy costs, and hand over the temperature of a room to the individual(s) occupying it.
Unfortunately, these devices were only shown to reduce energy consumption by around 6.2%, a significantly lower figure than originally estimated. As these systems also had a “hold” mode, they were often used much like a manual model, diminishing their value entirely.
Of course, technology continues to develop, and in recent years, smart office automation systems have allowed for thermostats to evolve into much more efficient devices, saving approximately £108 or more every year.
The heating in an office environment is commonly switched off over night and over the weekends, meaning temperatures can consistently fluctuate from extreme highs to extreme lows.
Smart thermostats can offer even higher savings in areas that fluctuate in temperature, evening out your energy consumption, and avoiding an enormous, and unexpected bill at the end of the quarter.
Motion sensors have been around for almost 30 years, basically an eternity in terms of technology advancement.
However, new smart office automation systems come with modern technology advancements and the use of optics for greater accuracy in performance.
Lighting is said to make up 11% of all energy use in a single room, ranking it the second biggest energy consumer behind heating.
Those seemingly insignificant light switches can actually make a great deal of difference to your outgoing costs, as well as the impact your business has on the environment.
In the modern world, more and more individuals are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the world around them, and how they can decrease their use of energy in order to help combat global warming.
In turn, businesses are also becoming conscious of their environmental reputation, and how they can reduce their usage.
In fact, many businesses utilise the environmentally friendly logo when they have managed to adhere to such standards to improve their public relations, and market their services to a wider environmentally conscious audience.
Consequently, embracing such innovative technologies can not only go a long way in reducing your outgoing expenses, it can also help you to secure you more future sales, strengthening your profit margin. It’s a win-win.
When it has been a stressful day full of deadlines, targets, and meetings, the last thing you’re likely to remember when you leave the office is to switch off the lights, despite how many stickers or notices have been strategically placed around the building reminding you of the seemingly inconsequential task.
Light sensors will give you the peace of mind you need when you leave the office for the night that all lights in unused rooms have been switched off, and are not secretly driving up the energy bills.
Light devices need to get around a wide variety of challenges in the office, to ensure they perform at their most efficient.
The IQ light sensor has received a mass of brilliant reviews, due to its flexibility and innovative use of modern technology.
Whether you have a small office space and only want the sensor detect movement in a particular area, such as a cubicle or group, or have a large area or open plan office, the IQ sensor can assist you.
Coming in a wide variety of specifications to suit your needs, this smart office automation system can boost aesthetics and drive down energy costs.
Such a savvy system helps you keep your pledge to become more environmentally friendly, and use the money you’ve saved to continually invest in improving your business and the way it operates.
Alongside its flexibility and technological and advancements, the IQ sensor is compatible with a dimmer feature, ensuring you can light the room in a way that is most suitable for its use.
Dimmer switches allow rooms to be used for presentations, projections and speeches all at the tap of the control panel, ensuring images and text are visible from anywhere in the room, without the annoyance of glare or reflections.
Many assume that light controlling motion sensors can only be utilised in rooms that have little furniture or accessories, to give the motion detector a clear view of the entire space for it to work.
However, such assumptions are only true when referring to PIR sensors that must see what is to be detected.
However, the IQ sensor utilises HF sensors, to avoid being disrupted by obstacles, and ensure minimal disruption to other accessories and furniture pieces of your office.
As well as its usability, one of the most important features of automated light sensors is the way in which they can change the appearance of a room.
Of course, unlike a domestic environment, the aesthetics of a room aren’t always the first priority for an office or meeting space.
However, this is not to say that the aesthetics of an office space do not go a long way in inspiring creativity and imagination.
Research suggests that the colours of a space can have a great impact on the mood of an individual. Consequently, it is not far-fetched to suggest that the brightness of a space can also affect both the atmosphere and mood of staff members.
Furthermore, the lighting of a space has been demonstrated to have a direct correlation with headaches, vision and even feelings of nausea.
In addition to this, dim light can produce feelings of fatigue, whereas bright light can be difficult to concentrate under, and often produce and unwanted glare on computers screens and windows, slowing down work output whilst monitors and continually adjusted.
In a 2009 survey, 45% of office employees stated that the décor and interior of their space affected their mood, and how much time they wanted to spend in the office environment. (That’s right, your office décor may be affecting the overtime carried out by your staff members).
If you use your office space for meetings or often have your clients asking to see where you work, the first thing they will garner an impression from will be the environment you work in.
Whether you’re working from a slick office, surrounded by glass windows over looking the city, or a countryside barn, with small coves that lead out to the fields, the lighting you invest in, and the way it is operated will never go unnoticed.
Consequently, although aesthetics may not always be the first priority in the workplace, they certainly have a great impact on productivity and the atmosphere of the room.
The IQ light sensor receives a mass of great online reviews.
On DIY.com you’ll find nothing less than 5 star ratings from a large numbers of users that have independently tried and tested the product in four categories, including: quality of product, value of product, ease of use, and overall rating.
Aura light states the IQ light sensor “solves all of the above problems when it comes to small office spaces” when referring to needing well defined detection areas, objects that may disrupt detection, flexibility and adaptation.
You may think that all technological devices consume the same amount of energy. What’s the difference between leaving your personal computer on standby over your lamp?
However, it’s now a well-known fact that some electronic devices are just more energy hungry than others.
Perhaps this is news to you, or perhaps you’ve been saying this for years, politely asking employees each and every day to remember the electrical switch that can go a long way in reducing your outgoing expenses.
This is where Smart Strips come in. Having the ability to ensure that all devices are shut down at the end of the day, they’ll now be no more need to have stern chats on a Monday morning in regards to the number of devices that were left plugged in and charging over the weekend, burning a hole in your pocket.
Smart Strips work in a number of ways. One of the most basic, but also the most common of ways is by cutting off the power supply to any devices that is left on standby mode.
The strips continuously monitor the power levels being used by the device, and then cut its power supply off, should the energy usage from the device drop below a certain predefined level.
Alternatively, employers may consider investing in more advanced Smart Strips work that in conjunction with a master plug, determining what power is needed for each individual device.
In years that have passed, solar panels were seen as bit of a novelty. If you saw one of your neighbours having such panels fitted, you were likely to have a variety of questions that surrounded, how much they were paying for their electricity bill, how much they are estimated to save, and how much they has shed out to have the panels fitted.
However, solar panels are becoming a much more common sight on both residential and commercial properties.
Of course, solar panels are not a cheap investment, and if you do not have the funds for this investment upfront, you may decide to invest in much smaller smart office automation systems such as small solar powered outside lights, lamps or safety lights for the front and sides of your building.
On the other hand, you may be eligible for the Free Solar Panel Scheme.
There are mixed feelings surrounding security cameras in the work place, and you may be wondering how on earth such a product can help boost your profit margins.
However, did you know that your office is a strong target for burglary? Being a hot bed of laptops, macs, printers, and modern technology, these smart office automation systems can deter intruders and keep your belongings safe, keeping your insurance premiums down and your equipment expenses low.
In addition to this, security cameras allow you to monitor the productivity of your employees, and look out for ways in which you can improve your day to day processes.
Security camera smart office automation systems can be monitored remotely on a smart phone, meaning whether you’re away on holiday, or merely in the next room, you can take a look in to certain rooms that may need extra security, and gain a great insight in to how much time tasks are taking your employees to complete.
Such insights in to the working office environment can aid you in pathing the way for better work processes that may only prove to be more efficient, but also more cost effective, to boost your profit margin.
Future of The Smart Office
From the days that touch screen technology seemed like a pipe dream, to lights that sensor when you’re in the room and heating systems that can be timed and temperature controlled, technology is always advancing for the benefit of our comfort and efficiency.
There are a wide variety of smart office automation systems on the market, and in order to get the most from such automation devices, you need to work out what your current expenses are, and then conduct research in to the estimated savings you could generate with the implementation of these devices.
The first step to cutting down your energy costs is identifying what you largest consumers are, and then taking the necessary steps to avoid these increases continuing to develop.