In the past, one of the many snags firms faced in making informed decisions was in timely communication. After all, technology wasn’t as evolved as it is today. Project managers, in particular, felt the pinch of imprecise data, delayed responses, decisions being overruled and their teams’ contributions getting overlooked.
Things have thankfully changed, with the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT network is quite simply, a web of connected devices that captures, processes and stores information. It further centralizes this data, thus saving precious hours in finding the right and relevant information. After all, when you know where and how things are filed away, your workload becomes considerably lighter, letting you multitask while remaining deadline-driven.
One of the reasons IoT enjoys immense popularity is that the host of sensors, barcodes and algorithms within the network render it robust from unlawful data tampering. This way, you’re assured stays safe, and correct. What’s more, when it comes to managing remote teams, a connected workplace makes it easier to coordinate face-time and facilitate team collaborations. Let’s see how and where the benefits of IoT start to show up!
1. Assigns skilled staff to the right projects
No artificial intelligence application works correctly without the right human-driven capabilities, which explains why the search for competent workers never truly ends. But how would you know the work you assign your staff are making use of the right skills?
The answer lies in a resource management tool, which profiles your existing workforce by their availability, capabilities, location and experience. This is critical to feasible projects, because you need to confirm two things before saying yes to new work;
- You have the right quality and quantity of staff and
- That they have the bandwidth and knowledge to take it up.
The speciality of a resource tracking and planning software is that it syncs electronic employee records into an IoT network, giving you the upper hand in deciding the right fit for work, in terms of the type and quantity of competent staff.
This way, you optimize schedules such that your staff get to be productive without feeling overwhelmed or undervalued. There is the notion that staff who put in more hours or stay back late are more productive but nothing could be further from the truth. What renders true workforce efficiency is a workload smoothened out using an IoT connected network. Besides giving team-based views and acute insights into project demands, an IoT network gets both sides of the workforce equation right, guaranteeing uncompromised work quality for upcoming projects.
2. Unifies conversations for informed judgment calls
Excellent communication skills is a non-negotiable at work. In fact, communicating and making informed decisions is a package deal when you’re a seasoned manager. For one, a project is backed financially which requires you to keep investors and clients informed of business activities at all times. And for another, you need to keep both your customers and employees engaged.
This is where the Internet of things come in. While retail stores worldwide are already relying on it to react and respond to changing consumer needs, an IoT connected workplace internally also gives you the opportunity to empower your employees, who are a vital organizational asset. For starters, a smart office gets people up and moving, and has the potential to influence how employees perceive each other and their work environment.
An IoT network amped up with instant messaging dashboards, for example, lets team members added to the channel pull up relevant conversations concerning actions, decisions and responses.
It saves time by bringing everybody on to the same page, from work done and changes requested to extensions granted and pending tasks. While water-cooler breaks and hallway conversations is a great talking exercise, what really keeps the lines of communication open is an online forum that digitizes conversations. This way, tasks stay on track with employees who spend their time on the clock productively.
3. Generates accurate effort estimates for project hours
One of the benefits of an IoT network is that it lets you estimate and forecast the supply of employees to foreseeable demand.
The booked versus actuals report is a feature typical of a resource planning tool. It weighs the number of planned hours for work against the actual hours your staff took or would take, to complete it. The intelligence within this report concerns your employees’ billable hours and the efforts invested. You can subsequently adjust your estimates such that
- If actual hours exceed originally planned hours, you can find and deploy better qualified staff in the future.
- If planned hours turn out to be more than actual hours, you can maximize all hours billed by your staff.
The advantage of embedding this within an IoT connected workplace is that you aren’t forced into a trade-off between skilled staff and complex work. In fact, your ability to generate precise effort and cost estimates actually strengthens, enabling you to stick to the budget when exploring newer work prospects.
The smart office today
A smart office makes it easy to stay organized and time-efficient. For one, it connects technology, people and the environment. Not only do you equip your workforce with the tools that boost their productivity but also give them flexible work options such as remote work and part-time hours.
After all, the option to work from home not only brings down stress levels but also lets remote teams maintain a healthy work-life balance, giving them one more reason to be productive. Corporate offices today are even benefiting from smart assistance, reduced energy bills and increased security, paving the way to a conducive, flexible and agile work environment .
Thanks, Aakash Gupta, who has several articles on workforce efficiency and enterprise resource management to his credit and you can find him on LinkedIn.
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