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Chargifi: The connected workspace - how the wireless world is transforming the way we work

Photo credit: Chargifi

Imagine walking out of your door in the morning and heading to work without the baggage and headache of dragging extra batteries, power cords or portable wireless charging devices.

Sounds epic, doesn’t it? By 2020, there will be six billion smartphone users worldwide and wireless power will become as ubiquitous as WiFi - cutting the cord on power. It will only be a matter of time until you’ll no longer have to imagine a world in which truly wireless charging is a reality.

There’s no denying that we live in an age of digital dependency - users touch their phones 2617 times a day and by 2020, almost 75 per cent of the global population will be connected by mobile. However, connected devices with multiple apps running have one problem in common – they drain power. On a daily basis, almost two-thirds of smartphone users run out of battery before 5pm.  

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This insatiable desire to stay connected and the expectation of a seamless experience driven by consumer tech, is now influencing employee retention and loyalty, as millennials demand the same, intuitive experience in the workplace. Access to power is no longer a luxury, it is a basic need and the employers must not only recognise but react to this.

This enthusiasm outlines a genuine opportunity for employers in crafting a destination for their teams; one that mimics the environment that millennials – who now account for more than one-third of the global workforce – have become accustomed to and one that satisfies expectations.

In fact, research from CBRE’s Live, Work, Play report reveals that 69 per cent of millennials will trade other work packages for quality of workspace. We see this reflected in the rise of the shared workspace, which, in recent years, has undergone a rapid and unprecedented transition as the business demand for an engaging, collaborative and seamless workspace grows. For many, the concept of working 9-5 already feels as old-fashioned as a floppy disk.

The benefit of transforming workspaces

Companies which prioritise digital transformation and harness technology to enable the connected workspace, will benefit from increased employee productivity and performance.

In fact, companies that embrace digital workplaces tend to be 21 per cent more profitable. Not just because of improved employee wellbeing and productivity, but also because new technologies like smart wireless charging, help employers understand their people and the experiences they have at work, better.

And, it’s not just the employee’s pursuit of happiness that you’ll be satisfying with convenient and seamless access to power. The return on investment associated with a connected workspace is extremely trackable. The IoT can enable remote management of wireless charging spots at scale with rich information. Behaviour data, including sessions, hyper-location and insight on dwell time is provided as insights through a dashboard in the cloud platform, whilst existing systems can also be enriched with this data via an open application programming interface (API).

Leveraging this network data will give companies the ability to gain a new level of business intelligence, to drive a real data-driven culture based on facts, instead of predictions and drive transparency within a company. Innovation only happens when value is added. Having a fully connected workforce at your fingertips will give you the opportunity to shape the world around your needs and demands; increasing productivity and making your working day as seamless as possible.

Smart wireless charging streamlines the working day

Here’s just one example of different technology being connected for a seamless experience in a video conferencing meeting room:

  1. Employee walks into a conference room for a meeting, the phone is placed on the  wireless charging spot and the employee’s phone is recognized. This triggers the meeting room being booked, preferred lighting levels as well as connecting to the video/phone conferencing software that is hooked up to a screen, and the meeting can begin, almost instantly - no fuss, no wires, it all just works

  2. Colleagues in the meeting room enjoy the wireless power spots across the table.

  3. Employee leaves, the smart room recognizes the charging session has ended the VC software disconnects, lights turn off and meeting room becomes available again on the system.

  4. The data from the spots could also result in actionable insights for facilities managers on how and when conference rooms are being utilized, for example

Optimising space

Walk into an average office building and it’s likely you’ll see that it is running at as low as 30-40% capacity. The increase in remote and flexible working is having an impact on how commercial property is being used – or not. With connected buildings, facilities managers will also be able to use micro location data to see how and when employees are using the space.

Not only that, but a cloud-connected solution that turns wireless power into a service captures insightful real-time data on employee behavior and real-time spot availability, giving live data on which meeting rooms are available and directing employees towards under-utilised facilities via push notifications.

The workplace of the future is wireless

The connected wireless world presents a whole range of opportunities to streamline processes and engage people, whether they are customers or employees. Workspaces are becoming more domestic and are evolving into spaces employees not only work from but also spend the majority of their leisure time - and even sleep, according to a report by The Future Factory.

With this comes a new expectation from employees – that workspaces will provide further personalistion such as automatic ordering of food from central eateries, atmospheric control and notifications when meeting rooms are available. It is ubiquitous and convenient access to smart power that is the key to enabling this fully connected and personalised life.

If you can influence how and when employees get access to power, then you have a chance to influence their connected journey and workplace experience.

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