Provada is the largest real estate platform in the Netherlands; its annual event is the largest event for the industry in the Netherlands made up of 275+ exhibitors, 250+ speakers and over 26,000 visitors. This year’s event took place from the 14th to 16th June and provided an inspiring three-day program for those in the Dutch real estate market. With an abundance of high-quality discussions at the event, a number of common talking points about the office market began to surface. In this piece, we highlight the three top takeaways from the event.
- Hybrid working and its impact on office use
- Reimagining the office
- ESG strategies
Hybrid working and its impact on office use
Many businesses were discussing first hand experiences of hybrid working and its impact on their organisations. For owners and operators, there were attempts to understand what hybrid working means for the future of the office and how it’ll be utilised by tenants. Considerations included the challenging nature of trying to predict which services and amenities will be expected and how landlords can adapt accordingly. Technology certainly plays a role, but defining that role is what many stakeholders find challenging, and so delivering an offering that meets requirements of a hybrid workforce can seem daunting.
Modern, hybrid workforces expect a lot from their offices; move-in ready space that comes with a mobile-first approach to interacting with the building is key. Tenants need access to on-demand services and amenities in a seamless on-demand way. This view of the office hints at a shift to digitally enabled spaces that can unlock the types of office experiences that today’s workforce are demanding. This takes us to the next talking point.
Reimagining the office
Crafting seamless experiences and providing on-demand access to services and amenities seems to be how landlords and operators are reimagining the office. Consequently, this means there’s more pressure than ever before to create connected and digitally enabled buildings that can deliver on these requirements. But not through any means necessary; when combing the need for digitally enabled buildings with the impossible task of predicting tomorrow’s requirements, it becomes clear an infrastructure which empowers adaptability is key. In other words, it’s problematic to answer today’s requirements with an approach that ties you to delivering on those needs alone.
As owners begin designing digital infrastructure to support their portfolio (and the many technologies they intend to roll out), managing complex building networks is an increasingly common challenge. Owners are becoming aware of how difficult it can be to control a digitally enabled office portfolio without technology that provides the foundation to reduce operational complexity at scale.
Provada’s strapline is ‘Act now for a better tomorrow’ and so it goes without saying that ESG was a widely discussed topic. It’s a strategic imperative for all companies now and for those in the office market. Discussions went beyond topics such as reducing environmental footprints and addressed the value ESG could create for real estate investors. Whether or not tenants would be willing to pay more for green services was explored and how that may work in practice. Valuation impact on buildings and portfolios was also discussed. There was a real emphasis on the need to disclose data around energy consumption and environmental footprints so that the industry can collect and compare data on assets. The feeling was that reliable data will create value by making the investment into sustainability measurable and quantifiable. With increasing market pressure for transparency on this type of data, utilising the correct technology to simplify the process and reduce complexity will be essential.
A fantastic event
Our Benelux Business Development Director, Jaco Poldervaart commented, “It was a great Provada event; there was plenty of interesting discussions and synergies among attendees. It’s undoubtedly a fascinating time for the office market in the Netherlands and it’s great to see so many professionals from across the industry come together to talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing our market as well as the role technology plays in all this”.
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