How facilities managers can benefit from IoT

The Internet of Things is changing the reality of facilities management. The ability to access real time data has impacted on our ability to manage the workplace and meet the challenges of managing facilities in a way that adds value to the organisation.

Internet of Things brings together mobile technologies, sensors and big data analytics, revolutionising the way in which we envision and manage our buildings. A facilities manager can deal efficiently with service requests and improve safety and security, operations and utilities management, amongst other benefits.

The capabilities of sensor infrastructure

Sensors can deliver valuable insights into how space is used, driving workplace optimisation. By understanding when and how space is used and the applicable timeframes, an FM can determine actual workspace utilisation rates in real-time. This, in turn, can enable them to identify and optimise underutilised space and set live capacity KPIs.

However, the capabilities of the sensor infrastructure don’t stop there. These sensor networks can also monitor the workplace environment including emissions, temperature and light. These factors, in turn, can impact on employees’ health and wellbeing. Increases in C02 levels can directly impact productivity. Sensor activity can advise users when to take a break, or optimise building airflow to react to ventilation needs.

Enhanced maintenance with real-time tracking

The ability to monitor and track assets in real-time enables today’s FM to capture and react to real-time diagnostics and fault detection. Business continuity can be maintained when IoT capabilities are leveraged to prevent critical failure, with alerts or early warning.

Predictive maintenance can prevent needless expense and prolong the life of an asset, mitigating the need for reactive repair and emergency equipment hire.

Optimising the workplace experience

IoT and analytics allow facilities management to keep greater control over the building and workplace environment, which improves the occupant experience. For example, beacons can be utilised to enhance the interaction between building occupants and their environment through the use of apps and WiFi technology.

The power of the IoT can also be leveraged in countering physical security threats and to enhance cybersecurity, preventing unauthorised access to the workplace. In terms of employee engagement, beacons can be used for push messaging and alerts and to provide real-time feedback. This, in turn, allows the FM to monitor the employee experience and proactively resolve real-time user issues.

The benefits of IoT for facilities management

One of the major benefits of IoT for the FM is the ability to do less with more. Monitoring of occupancy, energy usage and space leads to better asset management and greater efficiencies. The use of unique identifiers and tags can greatly increase workplace compliance by identifying employees with the right training and qualifications to perform certain tasks.

The quality of the workplace has become one of the differentiators when it comes to attracting top-quality talent to an organisation. IoT can enhance the profile of an organisation by streamlining frustrating procedures and creating a seamless community and network unique and specific to your building.

With its ability to improve every aspect of the employee experience and a potentially limitless number of applications, the IoT is delivering a wide range of benefits to facilities managers who are prepared to explore the use of real-time data, analysis and predictive information.