At present, majority of us live in smart homes, plugged into smart devices for most of our tasks. While we agree, not everyone has the tech to order groceries through voice command, though the technology does exist, everyone does have at least a dozen of smart devices in their homes – smartphones, smart office furniture, smart watches, smart speakers , AI softwares such as Alexa, Watson, Siri, Hello Google and the likes and similar devices that have made a way into our life – and they will soon make their way to our workplaces as well.
Now, workplaces stand to benefit from the introduction of smart tech/devices, but there are significant risks associated with the IoT, what is IoT, it is the Internet of Things, technology is developing at a tremendous pace, and it becomes even more power when combined with internet, thus giving you the Internet of Things. The tech is being used in most fields in the modern society such as medicine, education and in various industries. It is estimated there will be 1 trillion devices connected to the internet in use by 2025.
So it is imminent that industries start thinking of how the tech will affect the business and the work environment, further to the topic, what are the pros and cons of using technology in the office? Here are a few listed down, below.
The Internet of Things is just a bunch of new gizmos that waste time, energy and money. Most of these devices are especially devised to solve problems – which include work problems, hence it makes sense to equip workers with these gadgets which might increase productivity and help them work efficiently, and this is an easy way for the enterprise to gain an edge in their niche. It also helps save space and help implement better processes. There is no longer a need to store files in cabinets to restore data, it can now be stored in devices and can be accessed at a click of a button. Since all the devices are connect to one source, data transfer and access is much more easily than using standalone devices.
Here’s a list of devices that are essential for a business.
Similar to homes, offices can be optimized to conserve energy consumption and adjust to the home dwellers everyday habits. Smart lighting can recognise when the office timings start when it ends, intelligent thermostats can figure how the temperatures are kept in different spaces in the offices. Smart devices can keep a track of basic requirements that need to replenished periodically and order them at timely intervals without having admins taking care of these basic requirements. Though these tasks seem minor and simple, it helps workers focus all their attention and energy to bigger tasks than deal with these minor workplace issues.
Makes you stay updated
Staying updated helps any employee, especially the ones dealing with technology such as engineers. It encourages employees to explore new techs and get assimilated with it, be it new software, new computer or a device. This helps expand their horizon, and forces them to acquire new skills, which in the long term can get the creative juices flowing.
Better Work Environment
There are numerous health benefits that employees can reap with devices that help sedentary workers stay active by reminding to take walks or drink water etc. This helps them stay motivated and active in a workplace. Similarly, smart security systems can detect a breach or alert the appropriate person in charge of the arrival of unscheduled visitors, this makes office greeters obsolete and can help business save on their head count.
This is the ultimately advantage for any business. Thanks to teleconferencing software or devices, it is now easier than ever to maintain connectivity even from remote locations. As long as you have internet, you can connect to almost any part of the world without glitches. These help workers stay on their work even when working remotely. For larger complexes, some devices allow access to certain areas of the office via video conferencing bots. Hence it eliminates the need to physically visit the area of the office, which further saves time.
Abuse of Social Media
Social media can be a blessing or a boon, in case of small business marketing needs or small business website design, collaborative practises on social media can help reach the goal faster. However in most instances it is not used for the right reasons and ends up being abused. Employees spent more time on frivolous stuff, than what they need to focus on, it can cost the office overall productivity. Also certain sensitive topics or information can fall in the wrong hands and can be hazardous to the company’s reputation.
High Maintenance Costs
While the smart devices do come in handy, they are expensive to maintain and upgrade. New software updates are expensive as well as the labour required to upgrade them are expensive as well. Same goes for the maintenance of the devices. Companies also have to invest substantially to train the employees to use the new tech and the IT to install it.
Makes one Lazy
While the devices increase efficiency in most cases, sometimes it makes the employees lazy. Instead of taking proactive action by meeting in person to solve a problem, the employees can sometimes get stuck in the processes and not really solve the task at hand.
These devices carry a lot of sensitive data that is crucial to the company. It can cause severe damage to the company if it is hacked. These devices are connected to the internet and are susceptible to malwares and online fraud.
As seen, the smart tech comes with a set of advantages and drawbacks, while both sides are at par, the right balance is essential to make the most of these technologies which can help a business be at its best, or simply lag behind. It depends on how it is implemented.