WiredScore Sanjaya Ranasinghe

Powering up workplace productivity

There is uncertainty around new technologies coming over the horizon, writes Sanjaya Ranasinghe of WiredScore. Many people hear AI and think – will the robots steal our jobs? Only last month the Bank of England’s chief economist warned that humans could be left behind as computers and robots change the world of work.

However, by exploring real examples we can see new technologies are already making a positive, measurable, difference in the workplace and improving employee experience.

Artificial Intelligence

A PWC study found that by automating processes and augmenting existing labour forces, AI could transform productivity and the GDP potential of the global economy.

AI adoption offers endless potential for the real estate industry. As these technologies become more prevalent concepts like a digital twin of a building will become fully realised. Using Internet of Things sensors, a building’s design, facilities, and equipment are replicated and monitored in a living, breathing model – a digital twin.

With this framework we can improve productivity in the management of a building. One example is pre-emptive fault detection and predictive fault resolution; instead of waiting for the air conditioning to breakdown, an AI powered system identifies variations from the norm and actions a system maintenance service.

Another application of AI in buildings is the implementation of smart contracts. Take the aircon example again; a smart contract can differentiate whether the aircon has been used within its normal operating parameters compared to the service agreement outline in the supplier agreement, making it clear whether the landlord or air con company are responsible for replacing the unit.

Privately owned real estate company, Rudin Management Company, developed NANTUM, a building management platform that uses AI to build a memory of a building’s rhythm to positively influence, predict, and prescribe performance. The algorithms continuously adapt, increasing building efficiency, energy reduction, and cost savings.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the technology that layers digital components like 3D special effects on top of a real-world canvas. Enabled by the Internet of Things, AR offers a new, experiential way of seeing and using information, as immersive experiences enable more informed decisions to be made faster.

By combining digital and physical information AR is increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace, which is particularly prevalent in workplace design as well as helping agents better market properties.

Virtual Reality

If AR enhances our real world, then Virtual Reality, creates an entirely new one. VR fully immerses the user into a digitally constructed world.

VR is helping people adapt to the evolving digital workplace. Working styles are changing and companies are no longer constrained to their own city, or time zone, when hiring top talent. But the rise of remote workforces poses a challenge for companies to keep their teams happy, engaged, and productive.

VR-powered meetings are a revolutionary departure from standard video conferencing, with the power to enable collaboration and reduce isolation, making remote workers feel more connected than ever before. Leveraging collaborative technology increases business efficiency, productivity, and can promote a healthy work-life balance. VR is a game changer for businesses looking to promote innovation and collaboration.

The building design industry in particular has adopted VR for its collaborative potential. Architects and designers at HOK, a global architecture and engineering firm, are now using VR technology to enhance the design process. HOK VR allows clients and design teams to view 360-degree renderings anywhere, anytime. With virtual reality being used as a presentation and communication tool designers can seamlessly deliver ideas and concepts to clients and other stakeholders.

So what’s next?

For these new technologies to become fully realised they rely on a streamlined digital infrastructure. Your headsets need to be connected, the devices you’re looking at need to be connected, and the buildings you’re using them in need to be connected.

The workplace is changing and the demand for applications that enhance productivity and improve human experiences will result in the rapid adoption of new technologies into our everyday working lives.

It’s clear that these technologies will accelerate changes to the world of work, bringing together remote workers, improving operational efficiency in smart buildings, and promoting employee happiness with improved productivity and work-life balance. People shouldn’t fear being replaced, rather embrace how they can improve the way they work today.

We must remember that people are important. AI, VR, and AR are here to enable, they extend the in-between of what people do, helping us to work better, together.

  • Sanjaya Ranasinghe is technical director at WiredScore

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