We’ve talked previously about going green around the office, which has benefits for the environment and your bottom line. Today, we want to give you some ideas for some new tech that you can incorporate into your office to help minimize your environmental impact, while also saving money and increasing efficiency.
These devices add a touch of the digital world to things like your office plants or your thermostat, bringing unprecedented levels of control and automation to your workplace. They eliminate some tasks, simplify or streamline others, and generally make your place of business a more productive, and more enjoyable, place to work
#1: Smart Energy Monitors Keep the Electric Bill Down and Productivity Up
Smart energy monitors connect to either individual devices or to major circuits in your office in order to help you keep tabs on energy usage, while allowing you to activate or deactivate devices as you need them. These devices allow onsite or remote monitoring of all the energy being used by your business, and can even break down energy usage by device if each device has its own monitor.
Now, we’ll be the first to say that having more data available is never a bad thing, and your electrical usage is no exception. Most businesses and organizations simply forward the power bill to accounts payable every month and right it off as a cost of doing business without a second thought. Monitoring energy usage, with intelligent monitoring plans and digital monitoring devices, gives you an idea of what’s driving up your utility costs, and how you can change that.
By doing this, you can save money on your monthly energy bill, but more importantly it allows you to lessen the impact you have on the environment by cutting back on the resources you use.
These devices are also key to managing alternative energy sources like wind and solar that you may be using to offset your power usage. These devices help to get the renewable energy these systems create to the devices that need it, with the minimum amount of waste. Afterall, if you’re going to put solar panels on the roof of your building, or wind turbines in the parking lot, wouldn’t it be nice to get the most out of those installations?
#2: Smart Thermostats Keep Your Workers Comfortable, and Curtail One of the Biggest Energy Drains
A programmable or learning thermostat like the Honeywell Lyric or the Google Nest can make managing the temperature in your office a breeze. These thermostats offer you the ability to change the temperature remotely, which can certainly come in handy, but more importantly they allow for much finer control over your central heating and air conditioning.
With a smart thermostat, you can manage your HVAC remotely, but you can also get away with not managing it at all. The Nest learning thermostat tracks usage patterns and eventually changes the temperature without needing input at all. This is great for managing the temperature without starting an inter-office squabbles over the thermostat settings.
Beyond avoiding a revolt in the accounting department over control of the AC, smart thermostats can automatically adjust the temperature based on how many people are in the office. Closing early on a Friday? Smart thermostats can detect when everyone is logged off of their workstations and adjust the furnace or air conditioner to save money. Opening up early? Your thermostat will start heating or cooling the office earlier than usual to bring things to a comfortable temperature.
#3: Office Plants and Garden Initiatives Oxygenate The Building and Provide Added Benefits To Employees
Office plants oxygenate the room, which has a whole host of benefits. They filter the air. They make people happier. We think you get the point, office plants are pretty great. What’s decidedly less awesome is having to take care of office plants.
With automated watering systems, the difficult part of maintaining an in-office garden or other office plants is eliminated. This means that no matter how bad your employees are at taking care of plants, they stay alive, and you have a nice team-building exercise right in your office.
If you go all out, and grow herbs or vegetables in the office, you have the added benefit of letting employees take home a tangible benefit of their hard work in the form of some fresh basil or a tomato. It’s a fun way to get employees talking and involved with their colleagues in a way that doesn’t involve work, and it brings your employees closer together. All of this is made far easier with automatic watering and soil monitoring systems that take all of the guesswork out of keeping office plants alive.
#4: Smart Office Security Makes Keeping Your Employees and Your Assets Safe Easier Than Ever
Security at the workplace is something everyone should take seriously. Fortunately, with a few smart devices, maintaining office security is easier than ever. Here are some devices that can make your business safer and more secure, and more capable of recovering from a disaster:
- Smart Door Locks
- IP Cameras for Remote Monitoring
- Connected Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- VoIP Hosted Phone Systems to answer business calls during a disaster
- Cloud-Based File Servers
These technologies go a long way towards keeping your business safe from man-made and natural catastrophes, and they make your office a more productive place to work. Automation is something any business can take advantage of, and there are a million small ways to start automating your office with smart tech today.