Healthy eating and nutrition are essential for well-being, performance and motivation. Even here, smart management systems can be a significant help. Employees, for example, could order and pay for their preferred meals a day in advance and then have the food delivered to their exact location. According to the "Future of Small Business 2020" report by Intuit and "The Future of Work" study by consulting firm PwC, positive on-the-job conditions such as these, plus a healthy work-life balance, are more important to 75 percent of all employees than salary. Targeted measures to improve the work environment can reduce illnesses and absences by up to 20 percent, according to the 2017 Meta Study by Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA). Other studies even suggest up to 35 and 60 percent.
More and more companies, and not just large ones, recognize the lasting benefits that innovative management systems can offer once they get to know their users better and help them be more efficient. The potential is enormous. "After all, people spend an average of 90 percent of their lives in buildings, and most of that at work," states Daniel Schröder, Head of Smart Spaces at Siemens Building Technologies headquarters in Switzerland. "There is vast potential – not only for the productivity of businesses, but even more so for people's satisfaction with their lives," continues Schröder. "People have different needs and tasks throughout the day. When we give employees different work spaces at the right moment and according to their needs, we continually motivate them to work more productively and creatively."
On closer analysis, most of the true costs of a building aren't caused by energy, building management or tied-up capital. The lion's share – ten to one hundred times more – are made up of expenses related to people: employee salaries and added value, to be sure, but also costs for recruiting, retirement, health, well-being and workplace safety and security. To be specific, experts estimate the ratio of these three components to be 30, 300 and 3,000 euros per year and square meter.
In the year 2020, approximately one billion people will no longer work at a fixed desk. Instead, they will share flexible "project-based capacities" with others. And the trend is pointing upward: By 2030, nearly one in three workplaces will be shared by two or more people. That means occupant comfort will become more and more important. Experts in workplace ergonomics understand the need for a holistic approach that takes into account both physiological and psychological parameters since the body and the mind interact with each other.