How will smart spaces impact your workspace?

We live in a world of multi-offices, multi-city teams and flexible work scenarios.  For example, Adaptovate has offices all over the world, and consultants travelling to far corners of the globe at a moment’s notice.

When recently looking for new offices in our Sydney and Melbourne cities, what became apparent was how smart spaces are impacting not just our hospitals, our connected homes and shopping centres, but also our workspaces.

The best designed co-working space should be a smart space.

Importantly, a smart workspace will include, interactivity and connectiveness to each other and allow us to be efficient in how we conduct the basics like videoconferences and workshops.  For example, The IoT should be almost invisible to the worker.   That is, The space needs to be smart and feel human.

4 strategies for companies to run like a greyhound

In an article he wrote earlier this year,  Paul McNamara (Adaptovate’s co-founder) said, “Large organizations are geographically distributed, which makes co-location extremely difficult. The economics of having teams 100% dedicated to a single project can be unrealistic.”    In the piece he shares four strategies that enable large companies to strive in this environment.

  1. Redesign the work
  2. Build Personal Connections
  3. Use Video
  4. Support a Remote-first culture

So, in our quest to find the perfect shared co-working smart space we wanted to ensure that our own company was set up to enable the above strategies to thrive.     Having the right smart space, with fast wi-fi, the right connectivity and room to shut yourself away when required, will lead to our better wellbeing and happy consultants.

Employee wellbeing

As Bob Fox says in his article 2019 Workplace Trend Predictions  “Employee wellbeing is becoming one of the important considerations in workplace planning and design. Companies are widening the tent for planning and design teams to include HR and wellness program stakeholders, and research is proving that a well workplace is a healthy workplace.”

Importantly, the ‘Curated Communities’ that companies like WeWork are establishing around the world, provides the right environment for our downtime, as well as our work time.   Several companies are now including bars and cafes as part of the space.

Recently WeWork published an article on the science behind smart office design stating

“Humans have always used spaces for the same instinctive tasks, like safety, sleep, and community.”  In fact, they continue “Combining subjective and objective data is the only way to design spaces in which all kinds of people can feel comfortable.”

The Must Haves

Closer to home one of Australian consultant’s Rachna Verma says “Smart spaces will force us to think really hard about what we value and what we “must have” in our lives.  How many things do you really need to have in your backpack?  What purpose do ornamental objects provide? How can you repurpose your carry-on and luggage to still meet your requirements and be lighter and less cumbersome?”

In the US one of our team Steve Walton, says “ Smart spaces provide the potential to customize our environments to be better in tune to our needs and moods. There are possibilities to unlock our thinking by tuning them to stimulate our creativity, help us slow down by being more relaxing and having increased functionality to be more productive.”

There are concerns though.   As Steve points out “They also have the potential to be problematic if they fail to live up to the hype through lack of integration, poorly designed interfaces or inadequate hardware.”

Screenless worlds

Finally, we’ll leave you with this seed.  One of the interesting themes that may be emerging for smart spaces is the recurring concept of screenless.    The now ubiquitous ‘Voice tech’ is the biggest out of this broad trend.  But there will be more.  As Jenna Van Schoor reminded us “Google Design strategist Golden Krishna wrote a book called The Best Interface is No Interface”      – This could be the future of our smart spaces.   No screens, no interfaces.  Just human interaction and invisible technology.

What does your smart work space look like?   Do you have one, want one – of in fact need one?