Across all industries, employees are adjusting to a new and distributed way of working. Many occupiers can choose between a home office, corporate office, or a flexible workspace. Although we have yet to learn the pandemic’s full impact on the office sector, we can make a few observations:
For one, the office is not dead.
The office environment is more than an overhead expense. It is a driver for talent acquisition and retention and grants an invaluable opportunity for employees to collaborate, build community, and nurture a corporate culture. The workplace has also become a critical consideration when thinking about employee health and well-being.
Second, workspace providers face growing demand from occupiers for responsive, agile, and flexible real estate solutions.
Occupiers see flexible office as a strategic workplace solution and the real estate value chain is evolving. Space providers, including asset owners and asset managers, are under pressure to adjust to market demands and engineer flexibility into their proposition. While some have figured it out, others are only just stepping in.
Lastly, a space proposition should be compelling enough to justify a trip to the office.
A broadly fragmented approach to “the office” has inspired a more holistic consideration of the occupier journey. Challenges posed by commuting to and from an office post-pandemic include social distancing, longer queues, and limited elevator capacity, to name a few. Space providers must ensure an excellent flexible office experience once the end-user arrives. The environment needs to be both safe and better in the office than it is at home.
How can space providers and asset owners build a compelling flexible office space proposition?
Are you thinking contactless yet? Smart access control ensures touch-less entry and tighter control over who is granted access to the facilities. Removing the need to touch doors, key cards, or interact with reception makes the arrival process seamless. Cloud-based access control solutions allow staff to manage user credentials remotely, accommodate frequently changing schedules, and empower occupiers to consume space and amenities across your flexible office portfolio as and when they need it.
Predictable digital experience
Employees will travel to a flexible office expecting a better Wi-Fi and internet connection than at home, especially to conduct specific work such as uploading large media files, hosting a video conference, or performing monthly bill runs. The key here is having the ability to link directly to major cloud providers without multiple internet hops and having dedicated network access that ensures that other users cannot hog the connection. This can dramatically improve the user experience on all cloud applications – think no more “unstable connections” on Zoom calls.
Secure and Reliable
As flexible office uptake among enterprise organizations rises, so are service expectations – particularly when it comes to security and connectivity. Privacy and compliance assurances, SLAs, uptime guarantees, geo-redundancy, and security are part of a growing checklist of technology requirements. Flexible office providers must consider how they offer peace of mind to enterprise tenants and protect their critical data to the latest regulatory standards.
Part of extending a premium work experience is the ability to offer services that enable productivity. With an influx of remote working, basic telephony and flexible office features can keep members connected and self-sufficient regardless of where they’re working at any given moment. For example, softphone functionality enables end-users to access voice services from anywhere via their mobile device while also giving workspace staff the ability to answer and manage clients’ calls remotely. In today’s market, continuity of services is a key differentiator.
Both flexible office occupiers and providers must have visibility over how many people are utilizing the space. Real-time occupancy can be measured by Wi-Fi and offers a view of who is in the office and where. This information facilitates the creation of new floor plans or tweaks to space layouts that help occupiers keep at a safe distance.
Creating a productive and safe flexible office environment is a top priority. Technology can play a vital role in activating a compelling flex-space proposition. Learn more about delivering services and enhancing the tenant experience here.