Automating the every day: turn any space into a smart space

Automating the every day: turn any space into a smart space

The adjective ‘smart’ has firmly embedded itself in the tech lexicon. 

But in some ways, it is frustratingly vague and seems to be used as a catch-all for new and innovative devices. So what does it actually mean?

Smartphones and TVs have become commonplace commodities, and increasingly, we find ourselves visiting, working and living in smart spaces. 

You might even be running your own smart space without realising! 

What makes an object smart?

To understand what smart means in the context of buildings and technology, it helps to think about it on a slightly smaller scale first.

Take the smartphone. Unlike a traditional phone, a smartphone can run multiple third-party software applications - or apps, concurrently. 

Our smartphones can communicate with a myriad of devices, enabling us to share content in different mediums with a range of recipients.

So, a big part of what makes a physical object smart is its interconnectivity. 

But that can’t be all there is to it, surely? What are the other characteristics that make a device - or a physical space - smart or ‘intelligent’?

Access is also crucial when it comes to smart tech. 

The user must be able to access functions remotely (anywhere with an internet connection). Smart metres, for instance, enable the user to switch their heating on or off, or adjust the temperature, while they’re travelling. 

Sensing plays a key role in smart technology too. Sensors collect data from the built environment. 

From temperature and humidity to light, sound or occupancy, sensors can help prevent energy wastage and enable office managers to optimise their space. 

Smart technology can perform tasks intelligently and in an automated way. It eliminates the need for human intervention, enabling humans to get on with tasks that do require a human brain, like those involving creativity or empathy. 

The smartest people are always learning - and the same goes for tech. 

Some smart solutions can adapt to changing environments or user preferences by harnessing machine learning algorithms and AI. They get to know their user or users and respond to their needs accordingly.

How can I smarten up my coworking space?

Coworking spaces can leverage smart technology to save time and money and make the member experience more streamlined. 

If you want to turn your space into a smart one, you’ll need a central control system. This is the hub through which you can configure and control the smart devices within your coworking space. 

Nexudus is a central control system designed with coworking spaces in mind. It’s a single software system that can integrate with all of your other smart platforms - from your access control system to your sensors. 

The ‘home’ version of this would be a virtual assistant platform such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It makes running a smart space much simpler than if you were to configure each of your tools at source. 

Of course, you and your team won’t be the only ones interacting with the smart space - there are the members to think about too. 

Members will interact with your smart space through a user interface. 

This could take the form of a smartphone app, such as Passport by Nexudus. They’ll use this to unlock doors, book desks and meeting rooms, see how many other members are in the building - and much more. 

Features for your central control system.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of smart tech, let’s take a look at some of the features of a smart coworking space. In other words, those moving parts that your central control system can facilitate. 

1. Smart Access Control - By connecting your access control system with a central control system like Nexudus, you can control access to your coworking space. A person’s access level can change automatically when they upgrade to a new plan or end their contract. 

2. Sensors - Sensors placed within different areas of your space can monitor occupancy levels, and adjust the lighting, heating and ventilation in those areas accordingly. It can also adjust these three elements depending on the time of day. It means you won’t be wasting money lighting and heating vacant meeting rooms or coworking areas. 

3. Flexible Desk Booking - Outsourcing the booking process to smart technology can save you and your team oodles of work. With Nexudus, you and your members can book their own desks from a digital floor plan that also shows real-time occupancy. 

4. Integrated Communication Platforms - This can really make a difference to the member experience, especially if you run a large coworking enterprise. Your central smart system can connect to messaging apps, video conferencing platforms and project management software to enable collaboration, making it easier for members to find and connect with each other. 

5. IoT-enabled Amenities - We know that most coworking spaces run on caffeine. And even your coffee machine can be smart if you want it to be! Smart coffee machines can be managed remotely and will tell you when they need refilling. They’ll also alert you to any potential faults before they occur, making maintenance much easier to manage. 

6. Member Experience Enhancements - Smart technology can improve the member experience by offering personalised content and event recommendations based on preferences, previous interactions and membership status. From a sales perspective, this can help nurture leads through the pipeline - and it can also boost member retention! 

7. Data Analytics and Insights - All good central control systems have data analytics tools, giving users an insight into how members are utilising resources. Equipped with these insights, coworking managers can make informed decisions about everything from design and layout to amenities and opening hours. 

Top tips for getting your smart space right.

Like most things in business, transforming your space into a smart one requires a strategic approach. 

The first step should be to define the project’s goals and objectives - what are your current pain points, and how could smart tech address these? What are your goals, and how could smart tech help you to realise them?

You’ll also need to do your research to locate the best tools and technologies for your needs. You could start by exploring our integrations page where you’ll find a directory of smart tools - all of which integrate with Nexudus. 

Engaging with your stakeholders is also valuable. Find out how smart technology could meet the needs of your employees and members. Allowing them to have their say can work wonders for garnering support. 

And remember: you don’t need to do everything at once. 

You could always trial your new technology in a single meeting room or part of the building, rolling it out more widely once you’ve determined its efficacy and areas for improvement. 

Due to the interconnectivity of smart spaces, privacy and security are important, which is why you should have measures in place for both. Discuss encryption, authentication and access control with your software provider, and make sure your smart technology is regularly updated.

Ultimately, the smart space journey is an iterative one. 

By listening and learning from the data, you can continue to improve your space for everyone who sets foot in the door - whether it's physical or virtual! 

At Nexudus, we’re passionately building technology that provides space owners and operators with fully customisable, easy-to-integrate digital solutions for their spaces, across coworking, commercial real estate, hospitality and beyond. Since 2012, our award-winning technology has helped workspace owners and operators in over 90 countries digitally transform their spaces, manage them more efficiently, provide exceptional customer experiences and gather advanced analytics for better decision-making.

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