From smart working to smart office: the evolution of the workplace

Today, after 2 years of lockdown, and the desire to return to a normalcy made up of sociality, dating, and a return to a life in presence, the only thing that seems to be no longer returning to the old “normalcy” is office life.

In the past two years, large companies and even the civil service have decided to reshape spaces in the wake of the need and demand for smart working. This decision not only reduced fixed costs by freeing up poorly occupied space, but also removed the old “one desk per person” paradigm.

The design of smart office

Engineering and architecture firms are called upon alongside employers and real estate companies to rethink the concept of the office, not only in terms of the work spaces to be redesigned, but also and especially in terms of the role the office should play as a welcoming space.

The office can no longer be perceived as a physical place to provide only a desk. It must become a place where employees can express their skills and professionalism. A place that makes him comfortable, different, and gives him a chance to express himself at his best.

The main features of a modern smart office

This new “smart office” needs to have the right features to facilitate socialization and interaction, and it should no longer be a place to just have video conferences with colleagues who have stayed home.

An effective smart office must take a central role in the development of ideas and collaboration.

In addition, it will have to be designed to ensure maximum work comfort and encourage extra-work activities to be carried out during lunch breaks or after 6 p.m., becoming a focal point for employees.

There are elements that cannot be missed in a smart office such as widespread break areas, demo rooms where the company’s latest projects can be observed or tested, and comparison corners between different business sectors-in short, what are also called “interconnection spaces.”

Experts in modern workspace design are therefore called upon to facilitate this networking development to entice the employee to return to the workplace, ensuring innovative interaction experiences that go beyond the stereotype of simple traditional meetings that can be conducted with tools such as Teams or Zoom.

The intent is to create a work experience suitable for the employees of each company by revising work spaces according to the peculiarities, needs and vocation of the company.

Smart office design according to La SIA

La SIA, with its real estate design team, has been active for several years in the design of smart work spaces in which energy conservation, environmental friendliness, automation and choice of materials combine to transform the office into a smart place designed to provide workers with maximum comfort and to stimulate their creativity and productivity.

Energy savings and sustainability are achieved through the use of innovative materials for thermal insulation and the installation of high-efficiency environmental air conditioning systems controlled by multi-sensor systems capable of real-time monitoring of the business microclimate.

On the other hand, the use of sunlight-integrated lighting systems with natural diffusion is necessary to ensure proper visual comfort while the use of indoor and outdoor green areas as well as the use of purifying plants in indoor environments are elements used to promote the mental and physical well-being of workers.

Outside every smart office cannot be without electric car charging stations, powered by photovoltaic panels, to make it easier for employees to charge their hybrid or electric cars. These columns can be managed by badges or company apps providing another great benefit to employees by incentivizing them to return to the office after years of smart working.

The office thus becomes a living space where people enjoy working and feel welcome.

La SIA is at the side of all dynamic and innovative companies that perceive the added value of the smart office and wish to redesign their offices to reduce their environmental impact and ensure the best possible working conditions for their workers.

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