The Top 4 Ways to Use Digital Signage & Smart Building Technology
There’s no doubt that technology has become an essential part of business today—regardless of industry. Just look at how manufacturers are using robotic automation to cut costs and improve production, or how farmers are using drones to collect data on crops and using that data to improve yields. But nowhere is the use of new technologies more prevalent than in the corporate office space. From streamlining building access and resource booking, through providing insight into space usage and ensuring employees have access to the information they need, workplace technologies continue to deliver benefits across many aspects of a modern business. As businesses embrace a more technologically integrated workplace, they find significant improvements in operational efficiency, company culture, collaboration, productivity, and the overall workplace experience. However, when it comes to workplace technology, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin—which technologies can deliver significant value to your company, and which are simply nice to have.
As a leader in digital signage and smart building technology, we’re invested in staying on top of the latest digital workplace trends to ensure we can help you achieve the business outcomes you are seeking through technology. Let’s talk about the top ways to use digital signage and smart building technology, as well as how they can improve your overall workplace.
1. Health and Safety
With employee wellbeing at the forefront due to COVID-19, companies everywhere are looking for reliable, data-driven, and programmatic ways to use technology to ensure the health and safety of employees as they return to the office. According to PwC, 87% of employees say that returning to the workplace is important for collaborating with team members and building relationships. While there are many challenges to solve prior to reopening the office, the first one to address is how to minimize the chance of a positive-testing employee entering the workplace with an improved building entry process. Once employees are in the office, businesses must have a system in place to enforce social distancing, communicate changes in health and safety guidelines, control how employees navigate the workplace, and respond quickly to a positive test with contact tracing capabilities. FWI’s health and safety solutions not only help you communicate more effectively as you reopen the workplace, but also address these key concerns and equip your business to handle workplace health and safety challenges that emerge in the future.
An easy and effective way of supporting a safe and healthy office environment is implementing smart technology to help track exposure, manage social distancing, and create a more flexible office that meets the needs of a hybrid workforce. Here are some of the ways smart technology can solve these challenges and support a safe return to the workplace:
- Help limit the spread of infection by measuring employee temperature as they enter the office with a contactless thermal temperature scanner
- Enable a flexible workplace by giving employees the power to decide when they want to come in the office and where they want to work with a mobile desk reservation application
- Control the flow of traffic around your office and reduce congestion in highly trafficked spaces with a contactless digital wayfinding signage solution
- Help keep employees informed about which spaces are safe to enter by implementing a space notification solution that delivers real-time updates on the availability and sanitation status of spaces
- View detailed reports of the resources and coworkers that infected employees came in contact with, plus block off spaces that need to be deep cleaned, with our office contact tracing solution
These are just a few of the many ways that digital signage and smart building technology can help support a safe transition back into the office, but it’s also important to understand the long-term benefits of workplace technology that go beyond the pandemic.
2. Employee Communications
Employee communications have always been a vital part of running any business, but they’ve become even more important since COVID-19. There is undeniably a collective heightened concern about health and safety in the workplace. According to a survey by PwC, 48% of employees say that they are forced to compromise personal safety to stay employed. Your employees will want to know what your company is doing to provide for their health and safety needs, they’ll want access to relevant guidelines from federal and local governments—and they’ll expect your company to provide transparent, ongoing access to that information. Using digital signage to communicate this information to employees is critical to not only keep your workforce safe and help limit the spread of infection, but also to reassure employees that your company cares about their wellbeing and is taking the appropriate steps to ensure their safety while in the office. On top of changing guidelines from outside of your business, you probably also have a lot of information to communicate about your office reopening plans, changes you’ve made to your workplace, new office policies, and more—but these are all in addition to the normal employee communications that were essential prior to the pandemic. It’s even more important now to continue informing employees about company events, performance updates, goals and objectives, and simple recognitions like employee birthdays, highlights, or new hires. All of these regular communications will help bring a sense of normalcy to the office and re-establish your company culture. And it’s essential that the way you communicate this information to employees is contactless, flexible, and easy to scale as your business grows.
In order to have successful user adoption of your communications platform, it must be easy for employees to learn and use. Regardless of how many workplace challenges the platform addresses, if the process of contributing content isn’t intuitive, users won’t keep your screens up to date and employees will stop looking at your screens for updated information. By implementing an easy-to-use digital signage platform in your workplace, you’ll gain immediate one-to-many communications capabilities that allow you to always keep your signage up-to-date, quickly adapt when business needs change, and highlight your health, safety, and sanitation efforts. With FWI Cloud, you can quickly and easily make updates to any sign on your network all from your mobile device, plus enable any employee to contribute content to your screens. However, it’s just as important that your remote employees are engaged and up to date on the latest company policies. The FWI Cloud Viewer Channel is optimized for the desktop experience and allows remote employees to view critical messaging tailored for them from wherever they’re working. For more information, check out our best practices guide to learn more about how digital signage can help you effectively communicate during and after COVID.
3. KPI Displays
While improving employee communications and optimizing your office environment are key parts of reopening the workplace, the most critical factor in your company’s success is employee productivity. And one of the biggest challenges related to productivity is that employees either aren’t aligned to common goals or aren’t aware of their progress toward those goals. Displaying key metrics on screens throughout the office in real-time ensures that everyone is working toward a shared objective and knows whether your business is on track to achieve it. KPI dashboards can help increase collaboration among team members and improve employee morale by highlighting top performers and rewarding employees for their hard work. With KPI displays, you’re able to view a variety of metrics broken down by departments, teams, or individuals, helping you identify where any problem areas are and react accordingly. Check out how Pax8 displayed key sales metrics on digital signs and not only improved sales team productivity, but also empowered employees to self-manage, eliminating the need for micromanagement.
4. Space Optimization
According to Regus research, the average office is empty or goes unused 55% of the time, costing employers around $27,000 per desk per year. On top of that, COVID-19 has drastically impacted the way most people work, and with many people working from home or businesses staggering the days that employees come into the office, there isn’t a need for as many desks or as much office space. With this new hybrid working model, most employees will accomplish individual task-based work at home and seek out collaboration in the workplace. This presents the need for an activity-based working environment in the office, where employees can choose between quiet spaces that enable heads-down work, casual lounge areas for informal conversations and ad-hoc meetings, or dedicated conference rooms equipped with video conferencing technology for client meetings. Implementing smart building technology gives you access to real-time and historical data insights about how your space is being utilized, helping you make decisions to reallocate spaces for different working styles and right-size your real estate.
The SmartSpace Global (SSG) platform not only allows you to see desk and room reservation data, but also interfaces with IoT sensor technology to track actual occupancy information. With this information, you can gain a data-driven understanding of which spaces are being under and overutilized, and either reduce the size of your real estate or reallocate spaces based on historical patterns and the needs of your employees. Check out this resource to learn more about how the SSG platform can help you make better use of your real estate.
Digitally transforming your workplace is no longer an option—it’s essential to remain competitive and grow your business. In this blog, we’ve talked about four of the top ways that digital signage and smart building technology can be used in your workplace, but the opportunities go beyond just those four. To learn more about how Four Winds Interactive and SmartSpace Global can help safely reopen your workplace, improve employee communications, optimize your office space, and reduce friction points for employees, sign up for a workshop and we’ll discuss the challenges you’re facing, plus help you develop a tech strategy to transform your business.