The UK has just emerged from a deep freeze. The so called” ‘Beast from the East’ brought bitterly cold temperatures and snow, disrupting everyone’s routine, businesses included. With early office closures and poor travel conditions preventing staff from getting to work, productivity is sure to have taken a hit over the last few weeks. But possibly not by as much as once would have been the case. Thanks to cloud technology, many employees will have been able to work from the comfort of their own homes, somewhat mitigating the disruption.
The blurring of work and home has already resulted in more relaxing, welcoming workplaces that incorporate elements of domestic design, such as soft seating, attractive colours, accent lighting and indoor plants. The trend towards intelligent offices has the potential to take this to an altogether higher level. On page 16, we look at how smart technology is giving employees greater control over factors such as heat and light levels, enabling them to create their ideal working environment. Innovative technology is also giving employees a more active role in on-the-job training. On page 18, we discover how businesses are turning to virtual reality and augmented reality to give staff a far more engaging and immersive training experience than a lecture or textbook ever could.
Integrating smart technologies into the workplace and giving workers a greater sense of control could lead to big gains in employee engagement and productivity – and make the office a place worth battling through the snow to get to.
James Goulding, Editor, email@example.com
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