In my last column, the takeaway sentence was: “We need to focus on our only assets, our people, to do our job.” This issue, I’d like to talk about “Their people;” the people who live and work in the connected environments our industries are helping to create.

Satisfaction and Productivity of corporate assets -- "their people" -- is an ongoing dynamic survey of human cognition that is creating new performance metrics from the data from our buildings. We are all struggling to develop mushy measurement methods for well-being, satisfaction, stress, innovation and contribution to corporate purpose. Of course, comfort in both temperature and lighting need to be provided as basic services with expected energy efficiency.

Our five education sessions at AHRExpo this year in Vegas and the further discussions with industry thought leaders allowed us a better understanding of our mission to be the catalysis/harbinger of The IoT Future of Building Automation.

It is a major concern that the human assets in our buildings are not presently as satisfied or as productive as they could be. To crack this nut, I believe we need to start with the process to get the cognitions of these assets. Neither Satisfaction nor Productivity are easy to define and involve obtaining deep knowledge of each asset’s self-esteem, well-being, stress, innovation level and contribution to corporate purpose. 

We have never before had a direct feedback path from occupancy assets, but we now have the start of a feedback loop weaved around social media, video analytics, and smartphone interactions.

Only a few adventurous folks have entered into this new frontier. At the heart of the problem is its complexity: How do we communicate the language of satisfaction? We cannot connect these human assets to a wire and use a protocol like we do most of our sensed variables. Will we have these valuable human assets talk with Alexa? Or will they "hey Google" their wishes? Will they text us? E-mail us? Cut us some slack? Yes, we will likely need to support all these methods as they reflect the individual's personality.

There are some interesting developments occurring with video analytics tracking human emotion as an IoT telemetric value. This YouTube, Understanding emotions using the Google Vision API - Office and Smart Buildings may give you a quick insight.

This month's article From Data to Insights speaks well to the issue, answering, Yes we have an app for that. The future workplace will leverage advanced technology to understand, predict, and accommodate employees' preferences.

Please join our mission and help make satisfaction and productivity two of the new measured variables. Create a change in thinking and attitudes that focuses on these new values including the budgets to support and the resources to execute.

This article -- Alexa – Make My Building Run Better! -- also speaks well to the changes that are rapidly falling on us.