This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Joe Peters.
New technology is affecting how we live and work on a massive scale.
We’ve seen the impact of everything from smart assistants, to artificial intelligence for collecting and responding to data. Now, we’re beginning to recognize the incredible impact that IoT has on not just the office, but our ability to work remotely too.
IoT, or the Internet of Things, use connected technology to enable the creation of smart homes around the world. Increasingly, staff members are gaining the opportunity to organize and manage meetings, processes, and tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cisco believes that the number of IoT-based devices will expand to an incredible 50 billion by the end of 2020 as a result. Most likely, the end of this year will also lead to an increase in remote workers.
So, how is IoT changing the remote work landscape?
IoT Could Improve Home Office Efficiency
First, IoT is changing how and where we work. The Internet of Things refers to the influx of intelligent devices that now connect to a digital network. The revolutionary part of this technology is that it includes devices from computers to thermostats, video cameras, microphones, and more.
Because more devices are connected in this modern landscape, the home offices and environments that remote workers can operate from are becoming more efficient too.
Connected bulbs, video cameras, coffee machines, and more can all be set to start working as soon as a staff member enters the office or group coworking space. Smart thermostats can control the temperature, saving money on overheads.
The perks don’t stop there either. Intelligent office chairs can nudge employees to stretch their legs when they’ve been sitting for too long, and IoT printers can order toner when their supplies need to be updated.
Working remotely with IoT makes operations more efficient on virtually every level.
More Industries Are Turning to Remote Work with IoT
Speaking of the new connections that the IoT landscape is creating, there are also new opportunities for employees to interact not just with the tools around them, but with machines from afar too.
Many businesses rely on being able to keep things running at peak performance in a remote working landscape while reducing costly downtime. Making sure that machines continue working properly used to be a demand for in-person employees who could check the technology in-person.
However, businesses can now use things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other networking solutions to create interactions between on-site team members and remote employees. Using remote apps, employees can access data and office servers from anywhere with internet access.
Because of this, companies in all industries can discover the benefits of IoT and remote working. For instance, companies in the manufacturing sector can implement tools that allow employees to handle work from across the globe.
Remote employees could use their connected devices to examine the health of a machine from a distance, measuring things like heat and production levels without ever having to step onto a production floor.
The rise of the new tech-enhanced industry means the companies of all shapes and sizes are discovering new ways to run environments that are safe, more productive, and more efficient.
These offices don’t require employees to be physically present in a space. Employees can now choose to work from home or enjoy the benefits of designated coworking spaces anywhere in the world. All they need is access to the right technology.
IoT and the Virtual Office
At the same time, remote employees can also run meetings from a distance, programming lights to turn on when participants enter a conference space and launching whiteboard presentations when everyone is present.
In simple terms, IoT transforms the everyday operations of the standard work environment into something that can be accessed on a virtual level.
Although employees in a remote environment will still have challenges to face, like eliminating isolation and maintaining work/life balance in an isolated community, the IoT landscape means that team members won’t have to worry about being shackled to their desks to be productive.
The unique capabilities of the IoT landscape could even mean that more employees that otherwise wouldn’t have had the same opportunities can now take their place as part of a valuable team.
IoT technology opens new doors for specialists who know how to manage connectivity and improve Wi-Fi connections in the business landscape.
It also creates jobs for people who understand the importance of big data, and how we can use the information that technology collects to make important business decisions.
Most importantly, the people who support their companies in these roles no longer have to be the typical candidates that used to be chosen based on their proximity to the office.
Employers can find excellent sources of talent all around the world and allow them to telecommute to the office.
People with disabilities who previously couldn’t work in a standard office or workplace environment will now have new opportunities for employment.
The World of IoT is Coming
The internet of things and its impact on the global workforce is no longer just a possibility for business owners to consider. Already, connected devices are changing every aspect of how we work.
If companies can get ahead of the curve and discover the benefits of IoT for themselves, they could take advantage of everything from remote working with efficient employees, an expanded talent pool, and even better data collections too.
It’s time we all tapped into the fantastic opportunities of IoT and remote working.
About the Author
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters