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How The IoT Is Changing Workplaces

Everybody talks about the IoT, but is it really changing something? our lives? The IoT is impacting the workplace, from data entry to employee tracking. 

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We’ve heard about the Internet of Things in vague terms for several years now. But more recently it’s become a reality in various walks of life, from automated systems creating “smart homes” to wearable tools measuring health and fitness. And as the IoT has expanded from a concept into the vast system of connected devices it is today, it has also begun to have a clear effect on workplaces where technology, comfort, and efficiency are all focal points.

These are a few of the changes that some companies and offices are already implementing that could also be commonplace in the very near future.

Smart Home Features In Offices

This is perhaps the most obvious way in which the IoT can be implemented in a workspace, and it’s something that’s already happening frequently. Currently, the best smart home features include everything from wirelessly connected smart locking systems to thermostats that learn people’s preferences and even conserve energy. There are also light bulbs that dim or turn off when they’re not needed, advanced smoke detectors, and WiFi doorbells equipped with cameras. Most, if not all, of these tools can be just as useful in an office as in a home, and can help keep the office energy efficient, safe, and comfortable for employees.

Automated Data Entry

Even in a world in which most businesses work hand-in-hand with the latest technologies data entry can be a slow and tedious process. But the IoT has the potential to change that. As one fairly comprehensive overview of machine-to-machine changes in the workplace argued, manual entry of data will fall by the wayside as more and more devices become connected to each other. Some might think that sounds like a stretch in that it would be difficult in theory for machines to recognize what data would need to be recorded and what should be left out. But maybe the simplest way to think of it is how a smartphone can now recognize a date or timeline from a text message and input it immediately in a schedule. Imagine this on a broader scale and you can essentially get around to fully automated data entry.

Improving Work On The Road

Advanced GPS connected to the IoT has already been widely implemented in large companies, particularly those with shipping divisions. It’s become clear that GPS can help to provide automated reports on driving activity, including the details of routing, driver performance habits, and even vehicle diagnostics. In other words, someone in charge of a big company fleet can now effortlessly keep tabs on which vehicles need repair, which drivers are driving responsibly, and where each vehicle is at a given point. But it’s the latter concept, dealing with routing, that has the most potential to impact even smaller businesses. Connected machines can now take a schedule and input routing information in an employee’s vehicle, whether it’s to deliver a product, meet with a client, visit a school to give a presentation, or whatever a company might need.

Employee Tracking

The phrase “employee tracking” may sound a little bit ominous, but it’s actually fairly innocent. Furthermore, it may ultimately make for the biggest day-to-day shift in workplace activity for individuals. It’s been proposed that eventually ID cards allow workers to be sensed wherever they are in the workplace. That might mean that a door automatically unlocks on your way into the office, or it might mean that your presence is recorded at a meeting and you’re automatically sent the minutes from that meeting. It may also mean that you can pull up a program on your computer to easily tell you if a fellow employee is in the office, out at a meeting, or taking lunch. There’s a lot of potential in employee tracking to drastically improve the efficiency with which we interact in places of business.

These applications should provide a general idea of how the IoT is already changing workplaces, and how it can continue to do so in the future. As more devices are connected and we find more ways to utilize those connections, office spaces are only going to become more efficient and more comfortable for employees.

The IoT is making the difference, and letting us be more informed to make more accurate decisions.

How is the IoT impacting your life?

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