I am in awe of the power bestowed upon us and our potential as an industry to have a significant impact on the wellness and overall satisfaction of the occupants of our automated, connected, smart, living, buildings. Increasing satisfaction and wellness by engagement means creating a dialog path that flows both ways and is a giant first step for our industry's entry into the productivity puzzle and its lucrative paybacks.

Satisfaction and wellness are components of productivity. These new measured variables require a considerable change in thinking and attitudes towards maintaining buildings and assets, including the budgets to support, and the resources to execute. The impact on the total qualitative and quantitative value of productivity of the people sharing the space via hoteling of our built environment drives new metrics.

In many discussions at the recent AHR Expo in Las Vegas as to how we might use social media as a metric of occupant engagement, it was noted that we are sensitive about listening to social media but seldom use its powerful broadcasting capability. As an industry, we need to work on evolving these social connections, which have the ability to tell the occupants of our maintained environments what we have already done for their satisfaction and wellness thus opening dialog to engaging each of them in our equation. We need to strive to better understand the quality of the user’s experience, rather than the quantity in, say, degrees or lumens.

An important emerging concern is the potential of sociometric technologies to widen the social justice gap.

At AHR Expo industry thought leaders in this panel discussion -- our fifth annual Connection Community Collaboratory -- [opens as YouTube link] provided their views on productivity, occupant engagement, and comfort. If we consider energy as the only justification, then we are missing the bigger issue – the impact of the built environment, and its dynamic interaction with the people.

There was a great discussion about the ethics of what we are doing, which came from the crowd and is part way through this video. That was not on anyone's agenda, but the panel did an excellent job of opening dialog. An important emerging concern is the potential of sociometric technologies to widen the social justice gap.

Jacob Moreno, an Austrian-American psychiatrist, psychosociologist, and educator, defined sociometry as "the inquiry into the evolution and organization of groups and the position of individuals within them." He goes on to write "As the ...science of group organization, it attacks the problem not from the outer structure of the group, the group surface, but from the inner structure.”

At AutomatedBuildings.com we have assembled this Wellness Resources page to help you get started on your journey. We invite you to join us in defining the quantitative and qualitative value of productivity. Satisfaction will likely be much harder to define, but digital mindfulness is likely to be part of it.

Click this link to read last month’s article, Human beings as part of the Internet of Things.