Smart office buildings can bring an unexpected bonus


— Then you check to see if a workspace would be free for the approximately six hours you plan to work.

Your employer now provides workspaces for only 70% of its staff at any one time.

You can see a real-time map of the Agile Workspace – with 3,200 bookable spots. As with reserving seats in a multiplex, you can select the exact seat you want – away from the exit, near a window or whatever suits you.

If you want to save a trip to your gym, you can even choose to work out on one of the twelve “cardio” treadmills or exercise bike machines with attachments to attach to your laptop: work during your workout!

— Once you arrive at your office and use your phone to locate your parking spot, you park your car or bike and if your selected seat is within a certain distance, you hitch a ride in the electric buggy who constantly commutes around campus.

— After reaching your seat (have a complimentary cup of coffee on the way distributor ideally placed), you then adjust the temperature to your liking.

Yes, the room that can accommodate some 500 other people like you is centrally air-conditioned, but clever engineers at your factory have added a network of water pipes to the gas cooling system.

This allows you to adjust the temperature right above you to your liking. Gone are the days when some always found the temperature in a workspace too cold while others found it too warm – but had to group it together.

— Final setting: the ambient lighting in the hall is set to 100 lux. But if your job calls for better lighting, you have individual controls that allow you to turn on a desk lamp and adjust it up to 250 lux.

Everything is ready, let’s get to work then. And who wouldn’t? This makes returning to the office something to look forward to as the changes since you last came (2020) mean one thing: you are in control now.

The scenario described here is real. It’s all just as it gets, at the new 3,300 square meter campus called Spark.NXT established at the Adugodi campus in Bengaluru of Robert Bosch, the global automotive, power tool and brake systems headquartered in Germany.

It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 30 this year to mark 100 years of Bosch operating and manufacturing in India.

In his videotaped message, he said he was confident that “this campus will take the lead in developing futuristic solutions for India – and the world… It was (already) an example of engineering German and Indian energy”.

Three months is a reasonable period for a new system to complete its trial phase – which is why, just under 90 days after opening, this correspondent was allowed to check for swarajyareaders of several smart solutions.

For example, smart parking, agile workspaces, and air quality monitoring and control for visitor management and security/surveillance that make Spark.NXT one of the world’s most popular office spaces. smartest in India today – and one where 85% of its campus is powered by green, renewable energy.

In just three months, I learned, an 8% reduction in energy consumption was achieved.

Even before the opening of the twin towers of new office buildings, Bosch, India – like all of its 400 sites worldwide – was carbon neutral.

Durability goes hand in hand with safety and security: that’s why Bosch engineers, who have designed all the smart solutions described above in-house, have also implemented a system that eliminates the waiting time of visitors who may need to visit the facility.

Facial recognition, GPS compatible visitor badge

Once my visit was approved, I received an SMS with a link encouraging me to upload the usual ID and contact details and send it along with a new selfie.

This generated a QR code, which allowed me upon arrival at Spark.NXT, to skip the casual visitor queue, view the camera of a standalone kiosk which then did facial recognition, associated with my current selfie and created a smartcard on a lanyard that allowed me to visit all areas that were part of my tour – and nowhere else.

The smart card was GPS driven and at all times, on my smartphone, a map would guide me step by step to my next planned location. (I guess this allowed the system to track me at all times and nudge me gently if I strayed into a no-go zone).

All employees — at Bosch they are called “associates” — also use a similar phone and smart badge-based system.

In addition to the more tangible benefits of a greatly reduced energy bill, investing in such smart technologies today has unexpected benefits: Like most large technology-focused companies, Bosch is slowly moving away from the home of the Covid lockdowns and encourages its associates to return to their offices, but without coercive pressures.

Incredibly – and I imagine largely due to the new staff-friendly features – some 70% of the workforce at the Robert Bosch factory I visited chose to come three to four days a week . A smart decision – literally – for everyone involved.

National Energy Leader: Bearys


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