Most workers are all too familiar with how a seemingly trivial annoyance — the AC blowing directly on your face, a neighbouring coworker who cackles like a hyena — can make it impossible to be productive.
And while most of us are accustomed to sucking it up by donning a sweater or a pair of headphones, there’s an office building in Amsterdam designed to be so comfortable that employees no longer face any of these obstacles to getting work done.
It’s called “the Edge,” and its main tenant is consulting firm Deloitte. Bloomberg recently published a feature on the Edge and explored the technology that makes it the greenest office building in the world, and potentially one of the smartest.
Here are some of the building’s coolest features, highlighted in Bloomberg:
- A smartphone app consults your schedule for the day and figures out what kind of workspace you’ll need, be it a sitting desk, standing desk, meeting room, or so-called “concentration room.” No one has an assigned seat — the concept is called “hot desking.”
- When you pull into the garage, a camera analyses a photo of your licence plate to make sure it’s really you, and then raises the gate. The app guides you to an available parking spot.
- Once you arrive at your workspace, the app adjusts the light and temperature settings based on your preferences, which it remembers.
- The building is designed to feel just like the outdoors, through variations in heat and air currents. Every workspace is within 23 feet of a window. But you won’t get distracted by the sounds of the nearby highway and trains, since the specially designed roof mutes the noise.
- When it’s time for a break, you can head to one of the coffee bars, equipped with espresso machines that remember how you take your coffee.
- If you’re staying late at night, you’ll notice a small robot patrolling the grounds. If an alarm goes off, the robot’s camera can identify the intruder or alert security that it was a false alarm.
Whether you think this supersmart design is creepy or awesome, we may be seeing a preview of our own future offices.
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