Connected Devices Safely Guide Hybrid Work

BrandPost By Cisco Meraki
Nov 19, 2021
Technology Industry

Insight from connected devices help companies nimbly adapt to employeesu2019 needs.

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Credit: marchmeena29

Like a constellation that guides sailors to shore, connected sensors and cameras help enterprises steer employees into a hybrid workplace of enhanced safety, productivity, and satisfaction.

Over the next two years, 79% of organizations plan to invest significant amounts of money in at least one Internet of Things (IoT) project. In the same time frame, the average large enterprise expects to deploy nine different IoT use cases.

Skyrocketing adoption of hybrid workforces deserves much of the credit for today’s uptick in IoT rollouts in corporate offices, according to Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research. Whereas some verticals—such as manufacturing, transportation, and energy—were relatively quick to buy into IoT, traditional office settings have been slower to invest in these solutions.

That has changed. Now employees are equally likely to work from home, a coffee shop, or a business office, enterprises need their spaces to be as flexible as their IT setups, and they’re turning to you and your team to make this happen.

Guiding lights

While there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all IoT, an enterprise’s smart-space success story is built on the cloud. By leveraging cloud infrastructure, you can use the same architecture you deployed or built up over the past couple of years, thereby accelerating your rollout. The cloud provides flexibility and agility, allowing you to expand or contract resources as needed.

Flexibility is also necessary when it comes to supporting the hybrid workplace. You can use IoT technologies to deliver convenience and comfort. 

Smart cameras or sensors integrated with a hot-desk booking application allow employees to determine desk availability and ensure the area meets their personal comfort level in terms of sanitation and cleanliness.

In addition, administrators can use data collected by each device to analyze how desks, meeting rooms, and other office resources are used—or not. With this information, they can reallocate resources, redesign common areas, or perhaps rethink their lease or ownership plans.

Security conscious

Smart cameras do much more than monitor the scene in front of their unblinking lenses.

To add another layer of protection, you can set up a camera to alert security guards to investigate if doors are propped open. Motion sensors or cameras can also send alerts to guards if they sense or see movement in a restricted area or after hours.

In fact, businesses increasingly install sensors in buildings to collect data about movement, light, heat, and use of space. And, because you’re all about the cloud, you can access secure monitoring and management of all your cameras from anywhere without the need for extra software.

Data does it

Enterprises are using the same sensors and cameras to make new discoveries about how employees and customers use resources.

By adhering Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) tags or labels to shareable items such as wheelchairs, hospitals can track these moveable pieces of equipment to reduce loss and theft and save invaluable time, said Kerravala. The hospitals’ IoT sensors, cameras, tags, and wireless network also collect data that help advise administrators on future building plans and investments, he added.

Businesses also are using data from IoT devices to monitor occupancy rates—both the total number of people within a building and room occupancies. Measuring people’s activity gives these enterprises actionable insight into how employees and visitors use spaces, empowering them to enhance the employee and guest experience.

Odds are if you bring in bagels or pizza, everyone will be tempted to gather in the conference room. Without a tasty incentive however, knowing the exact head count or whereabouts of your colleagues is challenging, and determining the cleanliness of a desk or room would be even more so. Combining sensors and cameras on a secure, wireless network creates a safe, hybrid workspace and a warm welcome back to the corporate office.

Transform your offices into safe spaces with Cisco Meraki.