Is the EOFY the time to invest in a smart office?



With the end of the financial year (EOFY) fast approaching, many business owners are considering what improvements and investments they should be making to their business to round out this financial year or kick start the next.

So is this a good time to invest in a smart office? It could well be…

If you are considering bringing smart technology to your business, here are some of the options available for the smart office.

Why consider a smart office?

Smart office technology can help improve your work environment in a host of ways. It can make the office more comfortable for staff, courtesy of automated lighting and temperature control, which in turn makes it more efficient and productive.

Meanwhile smart technology can offer some very real financial benefits in terms of energy savings.

So, what type of smart technology are we talking about?

Smart temperature control

Smart temperature control allows your office heating and cooling to predict and respond to your workplace needs.

It can be programmed to turn on only when a certain temperature has been reached or in response to specific conditions. Alternatively, it can be controlled from the employer r manager’s mobile phone.

While temperature setting and thermostats have been around for some time, it’s when combined with other features like ventilation and smart binds, that the office really begins to become intuitive.

For example, rather than just cranking up the air-con when an office reaches 27 degrees, a smart office might understand the spike in heat is due to sun coming in the western windows of a building in the afternoon.

First it will lower the blinds to reduce the ambient temperature, then perhaps activate ventilation, and then turn on the air conditioning.

This allows an office environment to be more energy efficient as well as more comfortable.

Smart blinds

Natural light plays a role in the biorhythms of workers and the comfort of the office as a whole. With smart blinds that respond to temperature and sunlight, or can be opened and closed via an app, your office can maximise the effect of natural light.

As mentioned above, that may see the blinds close automatically in the afternoon to reduce summer heat from the sun. It might see them automatically open in the mornings to allow in natural light, or alternatively they may close at a set time of day when workers are leaving.

In the boardroom, for example, they may close automatically when a video presentation is being shown.

Smart lighting

Just as sunlight can impact workers, so can the general lighting and ambience of an office. With smart lighting, you can control the mood of the work environment throughout the day in response to available light or tasks being undertaken at the time.

You can also ensure lights automatically switch off at the end of the day, or lighting in little used areas only comes on when someone enters the room.

Voice activation and speakers

Over the past couple of years the power of smart speakers and voice activation within the office environment has only just begun to be explored. But already the benefits are many.

Say you have a smart speaker in the boardroom. The smart speaker knows the office schedule for the day and that a presentation is about to start. In conjunction with smart features like blinds, lighting and audiovisual, the smart speaker can then take charge of a scene where the blinds close, the lighting dims, the audiovisual equipment turns on.

Meanwhile, Providence Capital explains smart speakers can also be used for a range of common tasks in the office, including:

  • Reminders
  • Calendars
  • Staff intercom and communication
  • Music
  • Announcements

Smart locks

Just as smart locks work in the home to allow verified people entry, they can also be applied to an office. This means office doors can automatically unlock for staff members when they come into proximity of the workplace with their mobile phone.

It also means, even if the office is unattended, you can see and speak via video and speaker to people who knock at the front door.

Alternately, you can grant people access even when you’re not there, so rather than giving cleaners the key, you can be alerted they have arrived and let them in remotely even if you’re not physically present. Or you can instruct a delivery person to leave a parcel etc.

Smart security

In the home smart security allows you to be alerted should something go wrong. For example, an alert will be sent to your mobile if a door is left unlocked, if someone tries to gain entry or if a fire alarm goes off. It’s the same with the smart office, allowing you to understand what’s going on at your business premises even when you’re not there.

Meanwhile, further smart technology like sensors can tell you if a fridge has shut down, if the cool room temperature is too high and more.

Smart scenes

The ultimate power of smart technology is in the creation of scenes, where a series of set tasks all occur on command or at a set time of day.

Imagine this…as the boss, you’re driving to the office. You tell your smart phone you’re on the way. Using geofencing, the smart office and your mobile phone understand exactly how long it will be until you get there and can begin activating lights, turning the printer on, switching on computers and activating temperature control in advance of your arrival.

Ultimately it allows you to get down to business, while the smart office takes care of the rest.

Talk to your accountant

All these things may be a worthwhile investment for your business, and some may even attract tax deductions and capital works depreciation.

If you are considering implementing smart technology in a bid to improve your office environment, talk to your accountant to see what incentives are available.

And even without incentives, there’s no doubt smart technology could help improve your bottom line in terms of productivity and office efficiency.

About Lera Smart Home Solutions

Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.

We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.

You can learn more about transforming your house into a smart home here, access our smart home calculators here or contact us directly for further advice.