Building an Intelligent Office: Insights From Current

by Elizabeth Dukes on November 8, 2018

What do the most innovative enterprises have in common? They empower smart people by providing them with smart technology and the opportunity to work in smart buildings.

And they use Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and workplace management software to keep it all connected.

We recently sat down with our partner Current powered by GE to talk about the ins and outs of creating a digital workplace. Dallas Buchanan, program director of Current powered by GE, and I discussed how organizations are taking advantage of Current’s Intelligent Environment platform and smart sensors coupled with iOFFICE to reduce energy consumption, maximize space and create a productive and comfortable office ecosystem.

The Benefits of a Connected Building

Before we jump into the how, let’s discuss the why. Establishing an intelligent office enables employers to achieve two objectives that tend to be at odds with each other in traditional office setups—increasing operational efficiency and maintaining a positive employee experience. More specifically, creating a digital workplace using Current and iOFFICE allows facilities managers to:

  • Optimize HVAC and lighting systems to decrease waste
  • Adjust the environment based on occupancy levels
  • Make workplace updates remotely from a mobile device
  • Improve space management with utilization data
  • Execute predictive maintenance to prevent asset failure
  • Personalize lighting and temperature controls to workspaces

The Power of Current + iOFFICE

What makes this possible is that Current’s technology and iOFFICE’s technology are always communicating. Incorporated into Current’s LED lighting fixtures are connected IoT sensors that constantly collect data about the workplace, such as occupancy, CO2 levels, vibrations, plug load and temperature. This information is then automatically and seamlessly transferred to iOFFICE’s integrated workplace management system.

The data collected by Current’s Intelligent Environment platform allows companies to better understand, in real time, how workspaces are used. Workplace leaders can more intelligently plan, right-size their spaces and more effectively decide what types of spaces their employees are actually using. For one organization, leveraging Current and iOFFICE helped them right-size their office by up to 60 percent. As a result, they recorded $300K in cost savings and an employee-workstation ratio of 1.7. Because they were collecting more data about space utilization, they were able to share work stations more often, which reduced costs.

The Current by GE data also helps iOFFICE users not only intelligently plan but maintain those spaces. They can consume real-time data so instead of dispatching service teams on a scheduled basis during the day, they can intelligently dispatch based on use of those common areas. In turn, the cost over time to maintain their spaces goes down. For example, the aforementioned business was able to decrease wasted resources by 20 to 30 percent, leading to a savings of $50-$70 per planned task.

Developing a Digital Workplace Strategy

However, before any organization can reap the benefits of Current or iOFFICE, it has to have a solid digital workplace strategy roadmap. Companies must start by evaluating their current systems and technologies. It’s unlikely they’ll need to scrap their entire tech stack, but there’s a good chance there are opportunities to consolidate and streamline.

In addition, organizations must break down silos between departments—especially facilities, IT and HR. And sometimes a company may have to just bite the bullet, launch the strategy and improve it as they go, rather than delaying it indefinitely if it’s not quite perfect. You can always make updates to your digital workplace strategy—unless you never launch it in the first place.

iOFFICE’s goal is to help our customers transition to the digital workplace. And in a digital workplace, employers create dynamic workspaces that rise up to meet employee needs. By partnering with Current by GE, iOFFICE is able to help customers make that transformation.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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