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Lighting the Way to the Modern Office

Each year over at our sister event, Enterprise Connect, we host a “best of” product competition for exhibitors. I won’t go into all how and whys here, but this morning we announced winners of the 2020 Best of Enterprise Connect Award during a virtual event we’re holding this week in place of the in-person gathering we postponed due to COVID-19.
I point out this award program because this year we included a category relevant to our WorkSpace Connect audience. (In part because at the Enterprise Connect 2020 event we had planned to take in Orlando this week, we also had a one-day WorkSpace Connect Summit on the schedule.) The category is Best Innovation in Advancing Employee/End User Engagement, and the winner: Embrava.
If you haven’t heard of Embrava, perhaps you’ve seen its technology blinking about your office. Embrava got the attention of our independent panel of judges for its desk booking smart sensor, called Desk Sign. At a glance, this Internet of Things sensor provides a visual signal — green, yellow, red —about either the availability of a workspace or, if occupied, the worker’s status.
Embrava touts the three following uses:
  • Workspace Availability — mounted on a cubicle, this sensor shows green for available, yellow for reserved, or red for checked-in
  • Employee Finder — the Desk Sign device automatically displays a user’s name and updates wayfinding/location services once an employee has checked into a workspace
  • Usage Reporting — the sensor collects available, away, and on-call data for usage reports that allow allowing key stakeholders in IT, facilities, and HR to plan for workspaces optimally
The visual cue that Desk Sign provides can be a nice touch and create a positive experience for employees as they scout out the workspace they’re headed to when working in offices where hoteling, activity-based working, and hot-desking are in force, our judges found.
And perhaps Embrava will find a new niche out of our current work-from-home situation. I’ve been old-school taping big notes on my door — “DO NOT DISTURB… CALL/PODCAST/WEBINAR IN PROGRESS” — to catch my cohabitants’ attention before they burst into my office (after having learned the embarrassing way that such warning would be a good idea). I’d be happy with a high-tech alternative that sensed my activity and shone a bright light and immediate signal to all. (Not sure the dog would get it, though.)
One last note, we will be convening our planned one-day WorkSpace Connect Summit this summer, when we gather the week of Aug. 3 for Enterprise Connect 2020 in San Francisco. I’ll share programming details when available.