Of the many emerging technologies with the potential to fundamentally change the office environment, the integration of sensors into the workplace is perhaps the most divisive. While they undoubtedly have the potential to enhance operations they can also be easily misused, be that intentionally or not, and there is certainly some trepidation among the workforce regarding their use. So in an effort to get to the bottom of the issue, we decided to weigh up the pros and cons of such technology so you can make an informed decision for the benefit of your business.

The most apparent and oft-lauded benefit of workplace sensors lies in their ability to improve upon the environmental credentials of the workplace, which can be achieved in a number of ways. For one, by connecting said sensors to lighting systems you can easily ensure that energy is not unnecessarily expended on lighting unused areas of the office, which is good not only for the environment but also your finances. Some companies have even taken this a step further and integrated computers and other office tech into these systems, further cutting down on wasted energy.

Moving beyond eco-friendly features and onto purely business-orientated benefits, sensors can also be used to improve upon the design and use of your office space, improving upon collaboration and productivity in the process. By collecting data on how and when your staff make use of particular spaces you can better suit the office to their needs; this has the effect of improving upon employee wellbeing and performance all while cutting out the wasted expenditure put towards underutilised features.

There are however some noteworthy downsides to the installation of sensors in the workplace, many of them stemming from employee perception of such devices. Privacy is a common concern as constant monitoring can evoke a big-brother-esque vibe, though as such technologies become more commonplace this trepidation is slowly dwindling. However it must be stated that for any organisation planning to install sensor systems in the workplace, transparency will be key; ensure that staff are made aware of exactly how and why the gathered data will be used, which should be to enhance the in-office experience rather than hone in on individual shortcomings.

Also worth considering is the initial cost, which can be substantial for more sophisticated systems. While sensors are an investment that will ultimately save you in the long run, you’ll want to ensure that you’re investing smartly and as such it may be worth considering which areas of the office would benefit most from the integration of sensors and begin on a smaller scale.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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