It has been predicted that robots will play a key role in the future of facility management and property services firm JLL is aiming to be a leading innovator in this movement.
JLL has taken a pioneering step in workplace strategy by starting a pilot at its newest Sydney office using a humanoid robot in the role of receptionist and concierge.
JiLL, a 57cm tall NAO robot, joins the company as its corporate front-of-house administration team at the 50 Carrington Street office.
Working as part of a fully automated visitor management solution, JiLL will greet and support staff, visitors and couriers with a range of front-of-house tasks, including check-in for meetings, providing directions, contacting hosts and recording and reporting technology or building maintenance issues.
JLL’s Australasian head of integrated facilities management (IFM) Chris Hunt says the pilot of robotics has started with the IFM team in Australia, which will predominantly occupy the Carrington Street office.
[quote style=’1′ cite=”]This is a trend that is developing fast and is something our clients will need to contend with – Chris Hunt[/quote]
“As part of JLL IFM’s innovation programme, we are exploring a range of futuristic service delivery models, including process automation and robotics,” Hunt says.
“The addition of JiLL to our Carrington Street office will enable our technology innovation team to monitor how clients and visitors respond to robots and the current levels of technology. This will help us to continue to develop and improve our client service solutions.”
Hunt adds that JLL is assessing the opportunities for artificial intelligence in the workplace.
“We see a future for robots in the workplace and organisations will need to understand what robots can offer for the future workplace and they will need a strategy to integrate humans and robots. We are taking our first step in this journey by JiLL joining the JLL team,” Hunt says.
“This is a trend that is developing fast and is something our clients will need to contend with. We wanted to trial it first, starting small but thinking big and then be able to advise on how best to implement a robotics strategy into the management of building facilities.”
JLL’s head of business transformation, IFM Phil Clark says it is expected that staff and visitors will embrace this type of artificial intelligence.
“JiLL will work as part of the WorkSmart admin team but will be the sole ‘front-of-house’ face at 50 Carrington Street. This allows JiLL’s human colleagues to support the business operations and to focus on more tactical activity,” Clark says.
“JiLL works in conjunction with a tablet-based visitor management system. She has in-built facial recognition software to enable her to respond differently to team members than to external visitors.”
Clark says the introduction of JiLL is about automating tasks, such as greeting guests, providing directions and assisting staff with administrative tasks in the workplace. JiLL’s duties will continue to grow over the coming months, he adds.
“Over the next 10-20 years, we will continue to see a range of current job functions being fulfilled by robots and other automated machines. We expect to see a range of functions in the customer service industry become automated in this timeframe,” says Clark.
“This will result in providing opportunities for future workers to upskill and concentrate their efforts on the work that will produce the biggest benefits for business performance.”