Connected devices safely guide hybrid work

Like a constellation that guides sailors ashore, connected sensors and cameras help companies direct their employees to a hybrid workplace that offers improved safety, productivity and satisfaction.

Over the next two years, 79% of organizations plan to invest significant sums in at least one Internet of Things (IoT) project. In the same time frame, the large midsize business plans to roll out nine different IoT use cases.

According to Zeus Kerravala, founder and senior analyst at ZK Research, the rapid adoption of the hybrid workforce deserves much of the credit for the current rise in IoT deployments in corporate offices. While some verticals, such as manufacturing, transportation, and energy, have been relatively quick to embrace IoT, traditional office environments have been slower to invest in these solutions.

This has changed. Now, employees are just as likely to be working from home, in a coffee shop, or in an office, businesses need their spaces to be as flexible as their IT configurations, and they look to you and your team to make it happen.

Guide lights

While there is no one-size-fits-all IoT, a company’s success in smart space relies on the cloud. By leveraging cloud infrastructure, you can use the same architecture that you have deployed or built over the past two years, thereby accelerating your deployment. The cloud offers flexibility and agility, allowing you to scale or scale resources as needed.

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

Smart cameras or sensors integrated into a hot-desk booking application allow employees to determine office availability and ensure the area matches their personal level of sanitation and cleanliness.

Additionally, administrators can use the data collected by each device to analyze how desks, meeting rooms, and other office resources are being used or not. With this information, they can reallocate resources, redesign common spaces, or perhaps rethink their rental or property plans.

Aware of security

Smart cameras do more than just watch the scene in front of their fixed lenses.

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

In fact, companies are installing more and more sensors in buildings to collect data on movement, light, heat and space use. And, because you’re all about the cloud, you can access the secure monitoring and management of all your cameras from anywhere without the need for additional software.

Data does it

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

By affixing Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) labels or tags to shareable items such as wheelchairs, hospitals can track such mobile equipment to reduce loss and theft and save valuable time, said Kerravala. Hospital IoT sensors, cameras, beacons and wireless network also collect data that helps advise administrators on future construction plans and investments, he added.

Businesses also use data from IoT devices to monitor occupancy rates, both the total number of people in a building and the occupancy of rooms. Measuring people activity gives these businesses actionable insight into how employees and visitors use spaces, enabling them to improve the employee and guest experience.

Chances are, if you bring bagels or pizza, everyone will be tempted to congregate in the conference room. However, without a tasty incentive knowing the exact number of employees or where your coworkers are is a challenge, and figuring out how clean an office or room would be even more. The combination of sensors and cameras over a secure wireless network creates a secure hybrid workspace and a warm welcome to the corporate office.

Transform your offices into safe spaces with Cisco Meraki.


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