Business leaders need to not only surround themselves with the best and brightest employees but also provide an environment that maximizes productivity, wellness, and innovation. A successful business hinges on its human element.

With a few practical ideas, you can craft a work environment that attracts and retains talented employees. These smart products are not an exclusive solution—they won’t do much if you aren’t also improving your leadership and communication skills. But smart tech can improve the happiness and efficiency of your employees, thereby adding value to your business.

Keep in mind that the quality of your internet will impact the functionality of these smart devices. Before investing in new products, reevaluate the strength of your Wi-Fi, and if it isn’t up to par, communicate with your provider. If there’s any question about the service you’re receiving, run some tests to ensure that your internet isn’t being throttled by your ISP.

If you have plenty of internet bandwidth for day-to-day operations, consider these smart tech options to update your work environment and improve employee happiness.

1. Smart Thermostats

Finding an office temperature that suits a diverse group of employees can be difficult. Inevitably, some are too hot, others too cold, and so on. And though it seems inconsequential, spending the entire workday in mild physical discomfort certainly doesn’t increase employee happiness or boost job loyalty.

To avoid those issues, spread smart thermostats and sensors throughout the office and give employees remote control over their workspace. Over time, the devices recognize patterns and adapt temperatures automatically. It’s a win for employee comfort and energy efficiency, as well.

In addition to saving you money on utilities and empowering your employees, keeping a comfortable office temperature will boost your bottom line. Studies on temperature variation in the workplace show up to a 4% productivity decrease for every degree that varies from the norm. Compound this for each of your employees, and that’s a significant cut to your overall efficiency. Needless to say, you and your employees will be a lot happier with smart thermostats to keep things running smoothly.

2. Smart Locks

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Adding the right locks to your office improves more than just your security. These locks not only protect your hard-earned inventory and equipment but also simplify how employees enter and exit the office. Different brands come with different perks—some offer keyless entry via fob or smart device, others provide intuitive scheduling and shareable access codes. This convenient access to the office enables employees to come early or stay late without extra hassle. Promoting this kind of autonomy demonstrates trust in your team and increases their happiness and job satisfaction.

To be fair, the extra security and convenience of smart locks also require a little extra precaution. Because these devices typically depend on your network Wi-Fi, pairing them with an insecure network endangers your equipment and employees. To protect against hackers, viruses, and more, establish a secure protocol for your network and devices. It’s a necessary practice even without office smart devices, so evaluate your network security before investing in smart locks or anything similar.

3. Auto Subscriptions

There are countless causes (and solutions) for work-related boredom but many center around “pointless,” repetitive tasks. Some are unavoidable, but others, like ordering office supplies, have a simple remedy. Place a recurring order for supplies that you use regularly and consider upgrading your printer as well.

Why the printer? Smart printers from Xerox, Brother, HP, and Epson automatically detect when toner or ink is low and order a replacement without any employee intervention. It’s one less repetitive task for your employees, and it’s a great way to avoid office stress if there’s ever a desperate need to print but no ink to do it with. Investing in office supply automation signals to your employees that their value exceeds simple tasks and can inspire them reach their potential in other areas.

4. Smart Assistants

Similar to auto subscriptions, using a smart assistant in your office could help eliminate repetitive tasks and link any other smart technology you have in the office.

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Digital assistants are shifting from home use to the office, and even Amazon’s Alexa now comes with business-specific skills and programming that simplifies daily tasks like setting up meetings and controlling conference room tech. You can even create custom skills related to your business and unique terminology. Plus, your employees can control skills with voice commands for extra convenience.

The less effort your employees have to put into mind-numbing tasks and setup, the more likely they can focus on more important work and accomplish their set goals. More goals accomplished can mean less stress and worry for workers.

5. Fitness Trackers

Though “diet and exercise” isn’t the solution to all problems, it can help solve a few. Fitness trackers are a handy reminder to prioritize personal health, offering tools that collect and manage personal data. Though some may cost too much for a company budget, basic trackers cost between $10 and $30. More advanced trackers, or smart watches and accompanying fitness apps, can even predict personal levels of happiness based on activity, location, weather, and more.

Fitness trackers may not be a traditional office product, but consider a recent study that found employees to be 8.5% more productive and 3.5% more satisfied with their jobs if they wore wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, at work. Good health goes a long way toward establishing employee happiness, not to mention saving your business money on employee healthcare. It’s a health initiative worth considering, especially since it can boost employee morale and health simultaneously.

Being smart about smart products

Investing in your employees is one of the best moves you can make as a business leader. The exact details are up to you—especially since there’s no right or wrong strategy. No single office product can guarantee that you’ll attract high-quality team members or improve overall job satisfaction, but making efforts to invest in your employees’ comfort, ease, and happiness will certainly help. Smart thermostats, smart locks, auto subscriptions, digital assistants, and fitness trackers are excellent ways to do that, so consider using them to boost employee happiness in your business.

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