Delays and strikes. Overcrowding. Or simply just too long a commute. If the journey to work is turning out to be the worst part of the day for many of your employees, there are a number of ways in which you can help them turn it around. And they’ll definitely thank you for it.
But you can forget the usual run-of-the-mill commuter boredom-busting suggestions, because with the help of smart workplace tools and smart building technology, there are a whole host of things your teams could be doing on the commute to work that won’t only take their minds off all that travel frustration, but could also help boost productivity and improve well-being and morale too.
We’ve all been there. Staring out of the train or bus window, scrolling through social media or listening to that way-to-work playlist for the umpteenth time. But if you take to Google to get some ideas of what to do on the commute to work, you’ll generally find the same-old-same-old checklists.
From learning a language to listening to a podcast or audiobook, from meditating to working your way through a puzzler or colouring book, we’ve pretty much heard them all before and been there, done that.
Whilst these commuter pastimes have their place, for the worker who likes to be one step ahead of the game in planning their day, there is plenty they can be doing en route to the office. All with the help of smart workplace tools.
What are smart workplace tools?
Smart workplace tools operate in conjunction with Internet of Things driven smart building technology, allowing workers to control their working environment, engage with their workplace communities and carry out a variety of helpful workplace tasks, all from their own mobile devices.
What exactly does this mean? Well basically, smart technology makes it possible for employees to do things such as adjust their workspaces to suit their personal preferences in terms of lighting and climate control; pre-book desk space or meeting rooms; organise transport, and get involved in all sorts of social and well-being activities and keep up with news from the building. All from the convenience of their smartphones.
And if you can do all of this from the convenience of your smartphone, then there’s no reason why you can’t do it on your public transport journey into the office.
So, let’s take a closer look at some smarter ways to use the commute to work.
Book workspace for the day
In workspaces where flexible working and hot desking rule, it can be challenging and sometimes even exasperating for employees to find ideally located places to work when they get there. A manual desk booking system has its pitfalls, not least the pressure it puts on admin staff trying to keep everyone happy.
The good news is that smart building technology supports smart desk bookings.
With a smart desk booking system, users can make their own desk and meeting room bookings via an app on their smartphones, choosing spaces near their colleagues so they can work and collaborate more productively. As well as being able to locate those colleagues and free nearby desk spaces in real time, they can also store desk and meeting room preferences, making future bookings even more straightforward.
So, on their commute to work, staff can arrange their workspace in advance, then relax with the peace of mind that they’re good to get settled as soon as they arrive at the office.
Create the perfect working environment
One of the biggest drivers of a positive workplace experience is a healthy working environment. Good indoor air quality and ventilation, adequate lighting and low noise pollution all contribute to a healthy building.
If a worker is able to control the conditions in their own immediate workspace, they’ll not only feel more comfortable, they’ll also be more engaged and productive as a result.
The smart building incorporates a range of technologies that make this possible. Smart lighting, for example, allows users to make lighting adjustments to suit their preferences, again via a smartphone app. These are then learned by Artificial Intelligence (AI), so that less input is required by the user in the future.
Smart HVAC is another technology which can effectively boost workplace comfort. Using Internet of Things connected sensors and other devices around the building such as thermostats, the technology keeps track of indoor air quality and climate conditions. AI then steps in to make automated adjustments to keep it within optimum parameters. But that’s not all.
Certain HVAC controls can also be placed in the hands of the individual worker. So just like with the smart lighting, users can adjust the climate controls via a smartphone app to suit their preferences. And again, these are learned by AI so the preferred settings are stored for future use.
So, on that commute to work, staff can prepare their workspaces so they’re ready for a warm (or cool) and bright (or dimmed) welcome. If the weather is looking dark and dingy and feeling pretty cold, they can pull out their phones and get that lighting and temperature up to comfort level. Or if the sun is already starting to beam down, they can set the air conditioning to ‘on’ with their HVAC controls, and turn down those lights.
Manage the social calendar
It’s becoming increasingly important to create a sense of community at work. And with smart workplace tools, this is a simple task.
Smart building technologies such as Smart Spaces incorporate built-in smart office community features. Users get to scroll local events and activities, access special offers from local businesses and engage with fellow building occupants.
Now what better way to spend the commute to work than organising your social calendar? Book a fitness or leisure activity for after work, take advantage of a special dining or shopping deal, organise a delivery for lunch… there’s so much to make that journey fly by. Some smart workplace apps also allow users to make bookings and save them to the built-in calendar, as well as facilitating in-app messaging and call tools.
Making the commute to work more productive with Smart Spaces
Smart Spaces is a cloud-based smart building management platform built around Internet of Things technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning. As well as user-friendly lighting and HVAC controls, the platform incorporates a workplace engagement app where staff can share latest news and book events and activities.
Smart Spaces is also equipped with a smart desk booking system which makes it a breeze for users on the commute to work to secure their own workstations in advance.
To learn more about how Smart Spaces can help you improve the commute to work for your staff and deliver countless other benefits for your organisation, you are welcome to request a free demo or get in touch.