Guest Contributor

6 Ways the Internet of Things Affects Modern Workplaces and Employee Performance

By | Elaine Bennett

The development of the business world was always heavily reliant on the latest-gen technology. This evolution became very fast-paced when digital technologies finally took the reign. The rise of the Internet of Things definitely represents the next logical step in this journey.

And truly, using the devices and tools equipped and environmental sensors, high processing power and the ability to independently communicate with each other does seem like a utilitarian paradise. So, it’s really no wonder that the number of active IoT devices is expected to grow from the 21.1 billion we have today to a staggering 75 billion by the end of 2025.

But, how does this development change the way we think about work, and management of the workforce, and how these facts can be leveraged for the benefit of one organization? Let us try to find out.

Managing space occupancy

When talking about the IoT most people focus on machines and how they can benefit from a higher level of automation. However, this tech can have a tremendous impact on the management of human resources as well. For instance, the wearables your employees are carrying can tell you exactly how many people are on each floor or room, allow you to notice eventual bottlenecks or workflow deficiencies, make necessary adjustments, and eliminate productivity issues. This brings a great sense of predictability and data-driven efficiency in the area where these qualities are probably the most absent.

Ramping up energy efficiency

The present-day business world is heavily leaning towards green and sustainability policies. This is more than understandable since such initiatives, aside from doing an amazing thing for our planet, produce excellent long-term financial benefits for the companies in question. Internet of Things can do a great deal of heavy lifting in this regard by collecting the environmental data and adjusting the systems like lighting, and heating to work at an optimal capacity and reduce the waste. This system can also benefit the equipment pieces that require some form of a motion by rationalizing the route they need to pass.

Achieving a more efficient workflow

Keeping in mind the growing number of assets one company needs to use on a daily basis, organizing and implementing an efficient workflow becomes a very demanding task. This becomes even more evident if the infrastructure of one company is not built around IoT-friendly technologies. The good news is that experienced IoT companies are capable of performing the data fusion and allowing the IoT tools to interact with old ERP and CRM systems. This way, the businesses get the ability to get instant feedback on all critical company assets, assess their performance, and make quick workflow tweaks.

Allowing workers to achieve higher autonomy

Of course, the data feed provided by IoT sensors is not capable of benefiting solely the CRM and ERP systems. All these critical bits of information can be delivered directly to your employees thus allowing them to work more independently and with a higher level of efficiency. Keeping in mind most of the devices capable of delivering this information like smartwatches and smart glasses are, themselves, equipped with a variety of different IoT sensors which make this communication refreshingly two-way. All these things completely redefine how workers interact with their tools and their environment.

Simpler collaboration in hybrid workplaces

The outbreak of COVID-19 drastically sped up the adoption of hybrid and remote workplaces. This new situation presented a whole slew of issues in terms of collaboration and maintaining workforce productivity. The role of IoT, in this case, would be the same as we mentioned in the previous example. Namely, by using assets like Augmented and Virtual Reality the workers currently assigned to remote positions can instantly access the same information as their colleagues present at the worksite. This unified IoT-powered infrastructure sets up the foundation for fast and effortless collaboration.

Higher level of workplace safety

Last but not least, we would like to remind you that all the benefits we have listed above are not strictly limited to ramping up the workers’ efficiency – they can also have an impact on their safety. Connected devices like sensors, and cameras can communicate with vital building systems or use their own assets to identify hazards that can endanger your workforce. These notifications are then sent to the employees without any delays which, in some situations, can make a difference between life and death. This higher level of safety, in turn, has a positive impact on the employees’ mental well-being as well.

We hope these six examples gave you a general idea about the numerous and nuanced ways the IoT is gradually changing the very nature of the modern business landscape. This development is only natural and IoT is neither the first nor last technology that will completely reshape the playing field. But, the scale of the changes we are witnessing at the moment obliges us to do our best to understand them as much as possible. This will not be an easy task and predicting how this story will end will be very hard. But now, you have a very good place to start.

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