Home Smart Home
Home Smart Home
What do we mean by a Smart Home in 2021? More people are working at home than ever before because of Covid-19. It is more important than ever that we are able to focus on the things that are important.
Lockdown in one form or another is unlikely to go away until we have defeated Covid-19. People will continue to work at home and they need support to maintain productivity. For employers, decreased productivity is unfortunate, for employees it’s potentially career threatening.
The move to home working has actually been underway for some time. Companies such as IBM encourage employees to work “connected”, and maintain a much smaller set of offices is necessary to accommodate the entire workforce.
So when do the houses of the future become a Home?
Early Morning Exercise
You wake up and blearily look at your Fitbit. To your surprise you’ve been sleeping for nine hours, six of them deeply. Time to wake up body and mind. Early morning is a great time to exercise. Twice around the park and back to a hot shower and a bracing cup of coffee. Prepared by your smart coffeemaker that began to grind the beans when you did your final fifty metre sprint. A croissant would be nice but you chase the family out of the door, work and school beckon.
Get a dedicated workspace, where life can’t intervene. A comfortable chair and a table you can sit up to. You need to make two videoconferences this morning and in the afternoon present to your board of directors. This is not a pyjama day.
- Connectivity – Broadband connections capable of supporting video conferencing and streaming in addition to the needs of other family members
- User friendly webcams and vlogging hardware
- Video calls
On balance, wear them. If you’re going to work, especially if you’re doing a video meeting, dress appropriately. It will make you look, sound and feel more professional.
Use a task list, a ToDo list or a diary to give your day structure. There are dozens of Apps out there just waiting for the opportunity. Embrace it, it will make you more productive, and you will feel better for it.
Work Life Balance
Most people working at home tend to have trouble switching off at the end of a day. At work, you can leave at 5pm and mentally set your sights on the evening ahead. At home this rarely works, especially if you don’t have a dedicated office. Moving mentally from sitting at the sofa with your laptop and coffee to sitting at the sofa with a magazine and a glass of wine is a surprisingly difficult trick to pull off. There’s always that nagging voice pulling you back to work.
We recommend setting clear boundaries, not least with your boss – down time is done time!
So how does all this come together? Homes didn’t used to be offices and offices have never been homes – its difficult to combine the two functions successfully, despite the ample representations of the Shoreditch lifestyle (Avocado and Bacon sandwich on Sourdough Bread, Exotic coffee and mobile phone earpiece).
Eating to Work, Working to Eat
Some people take sandwiches to work, others have business lunches, Pret a Manger famously relied almost entirely on trade from the bankers in the City of London. This is where your Smart Home makes its presence felt. Smart home kitchen technology, the cooker that switches on automatically, The coffee maker that responds to a voice command. These things ensure that lunch doesn’t expand into cooking for the family.
Will somebody get the door!
You’re just into the second sheet of the Excel spaghetti that your boss wants you to report on tomorrow. The doorbell rings, your concentration wobbles, wavers and crashes. You march crossly to the door to find a crumpled parcel on the step, hurled there by a reluctant courier. You pick it up and the unmistakeable tinkle of broken glass brings a tear to your eye.
Or, the doorbell rings, you pick up your smart phone and look at the app that came with your Chime video doorbell. You see the courier shifting anxiously from foot to foot, peering at his watch. “Just a second you say, I’ll open the door” – his face brightens, he’ll be away in a minute. You go to the Control 4 App and choose the smart locks application, one click and the door opens. The courier leans in, places the parcel gently on the hall table and leaves. The door closes softly behind him.
The trick to running a Smart Home in these challenging times is to use the technology to minimise distraction. When you switch off from work, use the technology creatively. “Siri, play me a song by Black Eyed Peas..” Amble into the kitchen and rustle up a meal using the recipe suggested by your Smart Fridge. It’s already ordered the shopping for the weekend. As the family return from conquering their worlds, they find a chilled out parent, food hot in the oven, a movie lined up to play. It’s a far cry from the days when you’d rush in late from work, stressed and hungry, your partner setting fire to cheese on toast and the youngest screaming because well, just because he can!
At Security Wise we are Control 4 partners. The key to a Smart Home is Control 4, the operating system that provides the glue to pull the technology together. We can help you decide what apps you need, how to integrate your security, even your coffee maker.
If you’re interested in Smart Security Systems in 2021, download our brochure here.
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