Smart offices could soon replace remote working

The office of the future is likely to prioritize the health and wellness of employees, according to a new report for analyst house Gartner.

The report argues that, once workers being returning the office en masse, many will have various health-related demands. Businesses, therefore, may be forced to transform offices into “smart, wellness-equipped office spaces”.

This means integrating a number of different technologies and IoT devices designed to monitor the office space. For example, thermal imaging systems could be used to track body heat and detect potential infection.

Air quality monitors could also be used to monitor for threats in real time and perhaps even to continuously disinfect the space, eliminating contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, germs, volatile organic compounds, smoke and other allergens.

Cleaner air also allows for improved recycling of air, the report claims, which could save both cost and energy.

“Organizations can offer empty office spaces to co-working vendors, pitching them as smart and sustainable, healthy office spaces that can be managed with technologies and tools,” said Rashmi Choudhary, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner.

“After creating healthy co-working spaces out of the loss-bearing corporate real estate, remote workers with difficult work environments can use these office spaces. Booking co-working spaces whenever required through resource scheduling applications will become a convenience.”

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