The “Internet of Things” is abbreviated to IoT – and it looks like something from the periodic table!  Listen to today’s podcast and hear Bob and Jan take a deeper dive into how IoT will affect your workplace.

Once again, I was reading Don Catalano’s blog.  He wrote about 5 advantages of upgrading your technology and IoT in the workplace.  Perfect topic for these crazy COVID-infested times!  We’ve been hearing about IoT in the home for a few years now – refrigerators, doorbells, thermostats, light bulbs, security cameras, even door locks being connected to the web.  “Hey Alexa, where are my keys?” ~Exactly!  I see the benefit of these things, but it can be really expensive to get everything connected.  Some home builders are building houses which are all tricked out with IoT devices from day one.

#1 on Don’s list was Simpler Compliance with Social Distancing Protocols – I’ve read about this technology.  Think of it a Waze for people in an office.  It monitors where people are and their traffic patterns within the building – sensors monitor everyone and show people where coworkers are within the building which can help them to make smarter choices as they go about their workday.  I’m not going in that kitchen because there are too many people.  It can also help managers decide if they should change the furniture configuration, etc to change traffic flows if they see a bottle neck forming in any particular area.  However, sounds a bit big brotherish, right?  So much for privacy.  Will employees see this as a benefit or as an intrusion?  Do employees have the right to privacy in the workplace?

#2 was Improved Productivity – IoT can help to automate busywork especially for the employees and HR using their smart phones.  This could include managing expense reports, employee benefits, and smart assistants that can reserve a conference room, dial into conference calls, updating calendars, etc.

#3 was a Healthier, More Comfortable Work Environment – smart everything is the keyword going forward – HVAC, lighting systems, security, thermostats – all lead to a healthier, safer environment helping to put employees minds at ease and let them get back to the tasks at hand.

#4 was a Greener Workplace with Reduced Operating Costs – more efficient lighting, heating, etc means lowering operating costs which is good for the landlord because it makes the building more competitive and it’s good for the tenants because it lowers their occupancy costs.  A healthier workplace reduces sickness and, therefore, absenteeism.  That saves money.

#5 was Streamlined Asset Management and Purchasing – IoT can hep to improve tracking of office furniture, fixtures, laptops, smartphones, TVs, projectors, etc.  You can also be alerted when the printer is low on ink, when you need coffee, whatever.  Maintenance requests can also be sent through IoT.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate (also known as a tenant rep) with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.