The fight for the future of the office is playing out with two clear camps, what workers need, and what office owners and operators need.
As office real estate continues to see increased vacancy rates compared with pre-pandemic figures, employers are also struggling to tempt workers back to the office. There is an ongoing debate as to whether employees are more productive working remotely or in the office. This has led to many organizations adopting a hybrid-working strategy to create a more flexible and inclusive environment and ultimately ensure maximum productivity across its workforce.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, indicated that on average employees who joined the company remotely have not been performed as well as employees who joined Meta in-person. “Our hypothesis is that it is still easier to build trust in person and that those relationships help us work more effectively.”
Office technology needs to ensure productivity and collaboration
In our occupier sentiment research that surveyed 1,000 U.S. office workers, 50% said working in the office “keeps me in a structured routine.” Structured routines not only help encourage healthy habits like lower stress levels and better sleep, but they also help to maximize efficiency with time.
However, productivity is helped and hindered by a lot of factors. Interaction with colleagues may draw some employees back to the office but most importantly, having efficient technology is the most important factor in the return to the office.
The relationship that occupiers are now having with the office, is having a knock-on effect to building occupancy. Landlords and operators alike are now looking at how they can shape their offerings to create environments that support productivity and experience to attract and retain customers.
One of the key tools they have to enable the creation of more collaborative and productive environments is technology. Yet, our study found that 76% of office workers said there is a gap between the technology currently offered in their office and the technology they believe can enable the office experiences they need to do their job effectively.
It’s easy to think of this technology as the devices and interfaces that individuals use, however, it is so much more than that. It is seamless connectivity, easy room booking, the digital services that connect to the physical space. Fundamentally, it is those that curate a frictionless end-to-end experience from the moment they enter the building – and the environments in which to collaborate.
Implementing the right technology is imperative
Currently, 41% of office workers find that simple tasks take too long when working in the office due to the standard of in-office technology. Therefore, to create a more productive working environment you need to find the right technologies that will remove frustration – not just introduce technology for technologies sake.
As the workspace evolves to support occupier demands, flexible workspace continues as a growth sector. Flexibility of lease length, and of space is key to supporting productivity and collaboration, and in turn occupancy. Again, technology is the key differentiator in being able to deliver this effectively. It allows landlords and operators to provide move-in ready spaces, with seamless onboarding and enterprise grade connectivity. This in turn creates a seamless experience for occupiers, from having the ability to book and access a meeting room through to consistency across hub and satellite offices.
However, delivering a fully equipped flexible services offering can be operationally complex, so where to begin?
How to approach using the right tech
- Take a holistic approach to a building’s tech stack: It is important to do this instead of looking for single-point solutions that only solve isolated problems. If an ad hoc approach is taken it can lead to inconsistencies and breaks in a seamless experience.
- Take a strategic approach to tech investment: This means that efficiencies can be built on, cost savings at scale realized, and buildings adapted to occupier demands and changing market dynamics.
- Reduce operational complexity: Technology that offers an easier way to control, manage and automate the essential digital services in flexible spaces, saves time, minimizes human error and simplifies complex tasks.
Ultimately, investing in the right technology will have an immediate positive impact, as well as long term impact for the future as technologies continue to evolve.
Find out more about how the essensys Platform uses intelligent automation to remove the complexity of network, space and occupier management.