Analysis from Philips Lighting suggests businesses worldwide could collectively save more than £1 trillion in reduced office rental costs by using smart tech to use space more efficiently.
Based on analysis of a major office move by consultancy giant Deloitte in Amsterdam, Philips is calling for the rate of office renovation in developed countries to double to capitalise on “vast” financial benefits available through new technology.
Through its office move Deloitte was able to reduce the space required per employee by half and still improved wellbeing at the same time by using smart technology to respond to employee needs.
For example, a connected lighting system enables employees to personalise the lighting and temper-ature at their workspace via a smartphone app, and also provides building managers with real-time data on how office space is being used.
‘Scratching the surface’
This is “just scratching the surface” of the potential of smart technology, said Harry Verhaar, head of global public and government affairs at Philips Lighting.
“[Smart tech] can significantly reduce bills for energy, water and air conditioning, and generate even greater financial benefits by improving the productivity of employees through enabling them to do things like find a meeting room faster or adapt the light and temperature conditions at their work-station.”
The opportunity is particularly large for offices with a high number of empty workspaces and meeting rooms at any given time.
Terri Willis, chief executive of the World Green Building Council, said: “Companies looking to do a major refurbishment should be prepared to layer in energy efficiency retrofits and implement new technologies.
“Office optimisation also has to be part of a green building strategy, from looking at how to improve the usage to space to implementing hot-desking and flexible working spaces. These things all con-tribute to making buildings greener while bringing many additional benefits for organisations.”