By Dan Bladen, CEO and Co-Founder, Chargifi
With each new generation entering the workforce comes a new office trend. Generation X ushered in ‘open plan’ spaces, favouring no partitions and wide-open workspaces, whilst millennials – who currently make up 35% of today’s workforce, are flying the flag for flexible and remote working. So, what will the workplace of the future look like? And how can employers respond to these trends whilst ensuring ROI?
Just like the employees that inhabit workplaces, offices of the future will be dependent on digital technology. New technologies such as wireless charging are shaping the way we live, work and play, and businesses who have the ingenuity to embrace this digital transformation will reap the benefits. Responding to the changing habits of employees means organisations can not only satisfy their staff, but also create a productive, efficient and engaged team.
A new era of working
Flexible working is the new norm. Employees are no longer confining themselves to one desk, but allowing themselves the freedom to work from various meeting rooms, desks, sofas and even from their homes. The traditional office is morphing into an agile space which adapts to the needs of the workforce – whether it’s a creative and collaborative co-working space or a quiet-zone for employees to focus – the modern workplace is all about flexibility. Gone are the days of highly structured, formal work spaces with designated desks – flexi mode is here to stay.
As the lines between our work and personal environments blur, people are increasingly expecting the same standards of connectivity and technology at work as they are accustomed to at home. It’s predicted that by the end of 2020 almost 1 billion devices with wireless charging capacity will be in circulation, and as wireless becomes the standard, the charging cable is going to become obsolete. With people becoming more and more digitally dependent and their appetite for power growing daily, wireless charging is one of the emerging technologies being deployed in workspaces in response.
Now, pair this new flexible approach to working with employees’ need for ubiquitous and convenient access to power, and it’s apparent that businesses have a challenge on their hands. On-the-go workers who move around the office multiple times a day will be ‘snacking’ on power, charging their devices at any time, in any place.
With the growing demand for connectivity and access to power, the onus is on employers to shape their workspaces to meet this demand. And introducing ubiquitous access to smart wireless power presents organisations with a real opportunity to boost engagement, productivity and efficiency.
Smart wireless charging allows employers to gain insights into the behaviour, location and preferences of employees. Wireless charging points deployed throughout an office will act as trigger points for seamless and personalised experiences. Think meeting booking, hot-desk check-in which automatically enables facilities and kick-starts a meeting, and conference calls without the need to manually login. By tapping into this data and drawing insights, businesses have the opportunity to carve a creative and productive workplace in which their employees thrive.
Less down-time equals greater productivity
As businesses start to embrace everything that smart technology has to offer, they can boost productivity and improve workflow. The cloud management of wireless charging, for example, gives businesses complete control of their network, allowing them to see and monitor real-time updates on connectivity.
Wireless charging spots can also send alerts when issues are detected, and the issues can be resolved over the air using remote tools for debugging and diagnostic tools management. This cloud-based platform means that operational and maintenance costs are minimised, and most issues are resolved before they affect staff productivity. Just imagine how productivity will soar in a fully connected workplace.
A space working in harmony with its users
With the increase in flexible and remote workers, it is not uncommon for office buildings to be under utilised. Walk into your average office and capacity will be as low as 30% and space will be used inefficiently. As part of the IoT connected technology stack, wireless charging can give businesses clear insights into how their building is used on a day-to-day basis by having multiple charging spots installed in various areas of the office. By monitoring which of these spots are being used, they are able to gain insight into how different areas of the office are being used, giving employers the data to make smarter, informed decisions about space utilisation.
Data on employees’ charging sessions, hyper-locations and dwell time also gives businesses a chance to understand the different requirements of their staff. With such accurate information, employers can transform the workplace experience and tailor space to different people’s needs, whilst also creating an engaged workforce.
A people-centric future
A data-driven culture based on fact rather than assumption will allow organisations to put their people at the centre of all business decisions more than ever before. Workspaces which enable smart technology will respond to the ever-changing needs of employees and create a hospitable and personalised environment in which engagement, efficiency and productivity can thrive. The future workspace may seem like it’s all about technology but, really, it’s all about the people.
Chargifi builds foundational technology that transforms the way the world Mass-Deploys, Manages and Monetizes power. They deliver a market-leading cloud management platform that enables the smart mass deployment of wireless charging; their patented solution turns wireless power into a service, delivered by their expert partners, that adds real value to business. Open API’s and SDK allows integration into software and apps, allowing data to be blended for greater insights. This valued and connected service provides a unique touch point and value exchange opportunity that can impact engagement, satisfaction and overall customer experience, which in turn drives revenue.
Chargifi is deployed by over 90 organisations in 21 countries and is backed by leading technology investors including; Intel Capital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Techstars, Accelerated Digital Ventures, firstminute capital and R/GA Ventures.