The smart building revolution is under way - Tom Sime

Businesses and employees, have had to adapt to home working and the ever-changing restrictions and settle into new ways of working, but with hybrid working patterns here to stay, how can businesses make offices alluring enough to entice employees back in – the answer is to think smart.

Tom Sime, CEO of Exchange Communications

In terms of office working, the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the growth of smart building technology. Only recently, Jupiter Research revealed insights that show the number of smart buildings globally is expected to rise from 45 million in 2022 to 115 million in 2026.

This equates to a 150 per cent increase in demand for the technology across the business world. The research also stated that 90 per cent of the smart building spend comes from non-residential buildings – something I have seen evidence of with our own clients.

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Businesses by default commit to property and offices to accommodate their workforce and provide a location to say we are here and open for business. Now we see those same businesses change their requirements, still committing in the main to property, but requiring that property or office to work in a new ‘smart’ way for them, enabling their employees to engage with the building’s services efficiently and driving cost savings through enhanced management of the space they occupy.

There’s no doubt smart buildings would have become more integral to office working over time, but the pandemic has meant businesses have had to make significant changes to office spaces in order to accommodate flexible working – ensuring they are safe for staff with features like air filtration monitoring and more energy efficient since they are no longer being used five days per week.

The benefits of smart buildings are wide ranging, from creating highly responsive buildings that respond to movement to control energy and lighting, to features that support net zero ambitions and sustainability by switching off energy usage in unused areas which can also have huge financial benefits.

Post-pandemic, creating a safe and flexible environment for the workforce is paramount.

Benefitting from the power of smart buildings is becoming more widespread across the UK, with more and more people implementing solutions to improve employees’ health, wellbeing and comfort and post-pandemic, we can really see a shift towards new, advanced use cases particularly in the office building sector.

For many years now, Exchange has been a driving force across the UK enabling ‘smart buildings’ overlaying IoT and installing smart systems to some of the country’s most iconic buildings including key travel hubs, arenas, shopping centres and hospitals as well as some of the country’s top office venues.

The way we work has encountered a seismic shift, but smart technology can ensure a smooth transition helping to increase productivity and continue an inclusive culture whilst ensuring the businesses and building owner leverage their asset to maximise the benefit smart technology brings.

Tom Sime, CEO of Exchange Communications

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