Even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital transformation market – which consists of IoT and other advanced technologies – has continued to grow significantly. Its impact throughout commercial real estate (CRE) is undeniable, with property teams rushing to implement digital workplace solutions to engage with tenants following hybrid office protocols.
The value of the global transformation market is expected to reach over 400 billion dollars this year. This indicates a 17% increase from 2020, which will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6% until 2028.
When it comes down to tenant attraction and retention strategies, the need for digital workplace technology has never been higher. However, integrating it all into offices and workspaces comes with significant challenges that simply did not exist before.
Whether you’re in the early stages of the technology buyer’s process or you already have digital workplace tools in place across your portfolio, here are three things you need to consider about the modern, tech-enabled office.
1. Put Hospitality First
Today’s office tenants require more flexible, diverse experiences than ever before.
According to Colliers’ New Global Workplace Study, four out of five office employees would like to work remotely one day a week or more after the pandemic is over. Their sentiments are being supported in reality, as a Gartner survey reveals that nearly half (43%) of company leaders are establishing flex time as the new norm by granting employees flex days. An additional 42% will even provide flex hours.
A more hybrid workforce means that office communities are no longer confined to their buildings. Now, landlords and tenant companies need to entice people back to the office through choice. By offering a diverse range of work environments and tech-enabled experiences, they can provide the in-person collaborative and innovative environments employees want and improve work-life balance.
Thus, out of all the digital workplace benefits, ensuring your technology stack establishes hospitality-first experiences will be critical to providing actual value to your tenants. Property teams need to go beyond following the latest trends and ensure that technology providers can create a workplace as unique and modern as their tenants.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Instead of implementing technology providers separately across your portfolio, leveraging an end-to-end digital workplace platform (like the HqOS™ operating system) that has both built-in capabilities and deep technology integrations will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
An office operating system guarantees that each technology will work well alongside new and existing systems (i.e. interoperability). It also allows you to easily sift through and take advantage of trusted technology partners that you may already be using. This way, you and your tenants are not balancing multiple apps throughout the day or changing up your routine. Instead, you’ll have access to the best tools and systems from an efficient white-labeled building app.
An operating system will also allow you to scale to fit your needs. Whether your strategy focuses on one building or an entire portfolio, having access to key technologies will allow you to keep up-to-date with the latest tools and deploy them whenever needed.
3. Protect Your Data
The best digital workplace solutions are the ones that take data privacy and security compliance seriously. Not only should you be interested in the types of data you will have access to through these technologies, but you should be aware of where they come from and how they’re protected. You only need access to the information and data most applicable to your business and not at-risk employee data such as personally identifiable information (PII).
For example, you won’t need to know if a specific individual buys a particular type of sandwich from your on-site cafe. However, you might be interested to know high-level trends. For example, if you discover that most of your tenants don’t use the cafe at all, it may indicate that the cafe itself is an area of improvement for your office.
Additionally, working with technologies that understand the importance of data security (and who have invested in adhering to these higher standards) should remain front and center of ongoing operations. Companies need to remain transparent about their data collection practices — including how they abide by privacy policies, request consent, and manage and use the data that they collect. Therefore, you should look for providers who are compliant with certifications such as GDPR, CCPA, SOC-2, and ISO.
As the digital workplace definition evolves, so must the responsibilities of property teams.
Being ready to bring the office into the future through technology integrations and partnerships means tackling the new-age challenges associated with this transition. Ensuring that you’re keeping your tenant needs front-of-mind, selecting quality providers that can address changing needs, and protecting your data will separate you from the pack and allow your business to shine.
For more information on how HqO can help you with your digital workplace needs, schedule a free demo today.