IoT In Facilities Management!

Jyothis R, Head - Real Estate, Administration & Facilities Management, redBusredBus is one of India's leading online travel company offering bus ticket booking through its website, iOS and Android mobile apps for all major routes and also provides widest choice, superior customer service, lowest prices and unmatched benefits.

To the degree that one relates sensitively, appropriately, and even charmingly, to the people and events faced in business and personal life, success will follow," Herman L Glaess, Potentiality Enhancement Programs. Human civilization is a story of disruptive technologies. Ground-breaking technologies have always served as springboards and propelled humanity to greater heights of sophistication and efficiency. In this new millennium, the Internet of Things, or IoT, is that disruptive technology that has radically transformed the way we live and work.

Technology's penetration into our workplaces is so profound today that employees seated in different floors in the same building prefer to hold official meetings over video conferencing to save time. Such smart digital communication modes, though efficient in terms of business outcomes and lack emotional intelligence ­ the most critical factors needed for the spiritual and emotional well-being of the individual in this complex network of things.

The Human Element
Businesses, notwithstanding IoT's versatility, can overlook their human resource only at their own peril. Thought leader and writer Kamil Toume rightly put it when he said, the real competitive advantage in any business is `people'. Focusing on the human element not only makes Facility Managers (FMs) more effective, it can also ignite brand loyalty and enables the employees to be more productive. Who wouldn't want their employees to brag about their work-place like this!

My Office is at the Best Location!
The top priority for any FM, while scouting for a new workspace has to be the convenience of their internal customers in reaching office conveniently on time and with ease. Geo-graphical factors, traffic conditions, and transportation options should be among the chief factors to be considered, while choosing the best site or location. At times, organizations tend to overlook these factors and prioritize financial attributes like cash flow analysis, how much will be the capex for what might be the OPEX and so on. It is ideal to balance cost, as well as accessibility while finalizing the space.

WOW! Spic n Span, Crisp & Clean
As FMs, our DNAs are hardwired with a keen sense of cleanliness and hygiene. It is an essential attribute that every conscientious FM would unquestionably possess. Our office hygiene and upkeep reflects directly on our company's values. These are key attributes of a business that are needed to ensure that people say only good things about it. Public perception of our brand would be adversely impacted if we say that we are in complete control of our business, while our offices or restrooms cut a sorry picture. Hygiene not only impacts the physical well-being of the occupants,
but also stimulates their mind by igniting their self-confidence, morale and self-esteem. Globally, technology has invaded this vertical. Laser auto robot cleaners, digital dashboards or IWMS (Integrated Work Management System) sync with soft services, spill proof pads and many others are few namely initiatives which have been picking-up.

You Got to See My Office Buddy! It's Amazing
Beyond doubt, interiors of office mean a lot when it comes to productivity and engagement for the team working in an organization. FMs will have to be sensitive to the physical, cognitive, and social needs of the modern workforce. Unlike the traditional L-shaped/cubicle mode seats, open office concepts with linear workstations enable higher efficiency and give more space for people to walk around and collaborate for informal discussions. Colour combinations, message exhibiting classy arts on the walls/furnishes, funky painting combinations, installations or accessories-driven interiors are some of the aspects that would help create a vibrant and energetic working atmosphere.

I Want to Get These to My Home, It's So Comfortable!
A chair means more than just a seat. Ergonomics emphasizes more on the wellness and health aspects of any workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines ergonomics as `the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population'.

Technology's penetration into our workplaces is so profound today that employees seated in different floors in the same building prefer to hold official meetings over video conferencing to save time

Ergonomics Predominantly Influences
• Indirect costs like reduction of healthcare costs substantially.
• Quality ­ poor ergonomics results in employees to be fatigued & tired.
• Productivity ­ increases by facilitating a flexible seating, spacious workstations & good posture.
• Safety ­ ergonomics create Safety Culture in an organization.

Various global brands are focusing highly on these aspects, while manufacturing furniture for the office space. Smart Chairs, which are in the market now, study the movements of users and also shares the working habits of individuals, like, for instance, when is the person most productive or, if working in a hot desk environment, which is their favorite place in the office and which part of the office they don't prefer to go and so on.

Let's Go for a Tea to My Office!
Who would not want a hot fresh tea or coffee as soon as you log-in, and if some cookies or titbits as well? A complete pack of energy to start the day. Rising levels of competition & aggressive target achievements tend to create stress naturally to the employees and tea or coffee acts as a great mode of relaxation in terms of its healthy benefits of increasing alertness, reducing lethargy & fatigue, and feeling energized.

Today, the vendor partners are leveraging the technological aspects here as well. Monthly dashboards integrated with the dispensing machine or container ­ showing how many cups get consumed on a given day, which is the most liked beverage that makes the life of FM easier by saving time in making manual MIS.

Apart from above, there are several other elements which can be reviewed and executed at work for more employee engagement, better retention trend and a positive CSAT score.

• Healthy, economic, and quality food options with smart cafeteria systems like pre-booking of meals, auto feedback systems.

• Sufficient parking space with parking sensors/smart parking solutions.

• Efficient ground transportation with electric cars as fleet, access-cards based utility, smart user interface booking system.

• Ambient air quality monitoring by using latest technology in thermodynamics, zone-based auto temperature adjustments.

The power and beauty of human cooperation augmented by IoT, to me IoT means something more than just the Internet of Things - to me IoT also means `Individuals-oriented Technology'. IoT definitely helps the FMs to be on top of the industry & implement best practices, which eventually benefits us to meet the needs of these elements. Hence, it is ideal to prioritize these elements & then align the technology thoughts to it, for a Successful and Smart FM Service.