THE ROLE OF TODAY'S OFFICE IN A SMART CITY
Ever-increasing advances in technology and communications are having a major impact on the way we interact with other people and our surroundings.
Concepts such as artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are taking over the world's main urban centers in the quest for greater quality of life.
This quest has led to the birth of the Smart City, a term that became popular at the turn of the new millennium and refers to a relatively new paradigm: a new way of viewing cities by applying such technologies to daily life.
Smart cities make use of information and comunication technologies (ICT) to bring about sustainable economic, social and environmental development, improve the efficient use os resources and offer a better quality of life for all.
They may seem futuristic, but such cities are no longer the stuff os science fiction. In 2014 the government of Singapore unveiled Smart Nation, an ambitious project combining digital and physical infrastructures that is transforming this Aian city's transport, sanitary systems, workplaces and households to adapt ever more swiftly to the needs of its inhabitants.
Spain is also a world leader in implementing intelligent cities. In Barcelona, for instance, an operating system that compiles and analyses city services has been in the pipeline for some years, the idea being to streamline urban-management efficiency by dovetailing municipal-information and services-manadement systems and those of the companies that provide them.
Today's offices: the metamorphosis of work centres
More and more urban areas are expected to become intelligent cities by the year 2020. This will have a very strong impact on the workplace, mainly in terms of spatial design and the relationship between offices and their community.
Big data is the foundation of this process of urban and social transformation, since there is an ever-increasing need for detailed, personalised information on every aspect of society. Much of that essential information is generated by physical infrastructure such as corporate buildings, office complexes and people themselves, who all provide useful data input to smart cities.
Information technology is placing business centres in different countries at the service of their users by effectively meeting all their workplace needs. Sensors that customise office temperature and lighting conditions, while others monitor employee activities to improe efficiency and boost corporate productivity are just a sample of the way contemporary offices are being transformed.
Smart cities also focus on people, which is why leading-edge architecture is a centrepiece of modern offices, where infrastructure now include inbuilt technological solutions to streamline the way both work and other facilities are used in urban settings.
The incorporation and application of new smart-city technologies in the workplace is therefore blurring office limits and helping to promote the notion of working away from the office.
The outcome of all this technological innovation is infrastructure that helps to create quality jobs by incorporating innovations to improve company competitiveness and productivity, thus enhancing human well-beig¡ng and the growth of business worldwide