Knowledge workers are getting smarter about the features that office buildings can offer, and demanding them.

Providers of office space are being driven to provide telecommunications infrastructure and add sophisticated technology like smart windows to better compete, according to a recent article in the New York Times.

The article featured windows on a Manhattan office building that darken automatically as the sun becomes brighter.

Other examples in the article:

  • As competition to provide the best technology in office buildings increases, some companies are trying to help developers achieve their goals. The New York consultant WiredScore, for instance, certifies the reliability of a building’s internet connectivity.
  • Andrea Chegut, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Real Estate Innovation Lab, predicts that interior office walls will one day be “turned into data centers, capitalizing on fiber-optic connectivity.”
  • Some companies in China have embraced facial recognition software at building security points, which, for example, allow employees to move from the lobby to an elevator without pausing to slap down building identification cards at turnstiles.

“Even proponents of connectivity admit that the more digital offices become, the more security risks are created..There are so many great benefits of a digitally enabled building,” said Arie Barendrecht, CEO of WiredScore. “There’s also a downside.”