A workplace can be as dynamic and complex as the people who inhabit it. Like people, office buildings are designed to breathe, circulate water and energy and protect themselves against threats. They even have a brain – the facility manager – that monitors processes, addresses problems and responds to changing conditions to keep them secure and functional.
Up until a few years ago, these brains had their hands full just making sure the lights stayed on, the toilets flushed and the climate control worked. Much of their day-to-day work was taken up reacting to emergent issues in ways that, by today’s standards, would be considered manual and inefficient.
But modern workplace management technology has enabled facility managers to do much more. Sensors, advanced workplace management systems and artificial intelligence (AI) now allow FMs to operate facilities as if they really were living things, leveraging data to focus resources and attention just where they’re needed, when – and in some cases even before – they’re needed. As that workplace management technology has evolved, so too has our perception of the workplace.
No longer seen as just a box where people go to work, today’s smart office buildings can help employees be happier, healthier and more productive. FMs can even shape and operate facilities in ways that address environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues affecting the world outside their walls.