At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that CRE leaders would need to foster a greater sense of connection between landlords and tenants through the implementation of a tenant experience platform. As time has passed, this need has only grown stronger. Though what was applicable 10 months ago is not entirely the same as what’s needed today, the most important approach landlords can adopt for their return to office strategies is a flexibility mindset. This is largely due — in part — to the fact that the return to buildings will look different for everyone depending on region, industry, and other extraneous factors.
According to ADP’s Global Workplace Study, which surveyed over 26,000 employees across the globe from 25 countries, 37.3% of employees continued to work as normal during the pandemic and 26% had already returned to work after the global shutdown. The study cites: “Some [employees] had returned to work; others anticipated their return in a couple of weeks and others said it might be months to feel safe again. Fifteen percent of the global workers expressed that they will feel safe when their government tells them it is safe to return.”
Since not everyone is back to a normal routine just yet, we need to talk about a rising concern with prolonged remote work: COVID-19 burnout. The longer people work from home, the more “burned out” they feel — which has had a negative impact on workplace productivity and overall employee health. In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) survey across 1,500 respondents in 46 countries, 62% of the people who were struggling to manage their workloads had experienced burnout “often” or “extremely often” in the previous three months. Additionally, HBR continues to explain that “the 1,500 people in our survey not only much more squarely fit the burnout profile than did the nearly 50,000 respondents who had taken the MBI-GS before the pandemic, they also scored very high on exhaustion and cynicism — two predictors of burnout, according to the MBI-GS.”
With burnout levels so high — and with Forrester and other market data revealing that workers actively want to return to the office — landlords and property teams are tasked with finding new and unique ways to reinvigorate their tenant experience strategies and connect their employees who are remote through tenant experience technology, while also leveraging the same tools to make the physical workplace more comfortable and enjoyable.
Here are four ways the HqO platform can help address COVID burnout and lift your tenants’ spirits:
Connecting People to People
It’s a concept as old as time: humans need human interaction. This is backed up by several surveys revealing that 49% of office workers miss seeing their colleagues since going remote, with 44% missing personal interactions with those colleagues. “When asked about some of the downsides of working remotely, remote employees admitted the experience can sometimes feel lonely (65%), is different than they expected (51%), and feels too quiet compared to life in the office (48%),” another study elaborates.
To address this, the HqOS™ Tenant Experience Platform can place the power of true connection into every tenant and employee’s hands. Our tenant communication app features — which include a community forum, engaging content for all to interact with, chat and support systems, and more — encourage otherwise dispersed employees to connect with each other in new and unique ways. These same tools can also enhance communication in the physical workplace, by creating endless avenues for tenants to interact with their teammates.
Connecting People (Safely) to Place
In a recent Twingate survey, 94% of respondents admitted to missing at least one thing about the physical office. In the same survey, 48% said that being in an office was better for their focus, and 40% of respondents favored it over working from home. This is due to several reasons: collaboration is easier in an office, the office is better for overall productivity, and it’s more efficient in fostering relationships and workplace culture.
Our end-to-end operating system can help tenants and employees achieve these goals by making sure offices are safe and comfortable, thus enabling them to feel more confident with an office return. We can power everything from a tech-enabled visitor registration and management tool, to easy space booking capabilities, to a capacity management system that can field tenant requests to come into the office on a daily basis. These tenant apps and offerings contribute to reducing congestion in public areas and establishing touchless experiences, allowing employees to social distance while also avoiding interactions with physical surfaces.
Diversifying Experiences for Work-Life Balance
42% of office workers admit to missing the separation of work and home. This doesn’t mean, however, that companies push their employees to go fully remote or fully in-office. Instead, to improve work-life balance and offer better workplace experiences, property teams can strengthen their digital tenant experience tactics by offering non-work related programming to tenants and their employees to encourage breaks throughout the day, promote overall wellness, and even encourage family participation.
The HqO app and its Marketplace of technology and service partners can help establish these experiences by providing building occupants with fun and engaging activities that include everything from weekly trivia options, fitness and wellness courses that can be taken safely at an on-site facility or at home, virtual group volunteering options, giveaways and in-app offers for local retailers, and much, much more.
Making Tenants Feel Heard
Perhaps the most effective way to combat COVID burnout is to address the needs of your building occupants as they arise. To achieve this, property teams now need access to multiple granular data points across their buildings to bring themselves closer to their end-users than ever before. Through the HqOS Digital Grid™, property teams have a robust tool that can analyze multiple human behaviors throughout any asset, and then determine what the data can tell them about tenant needs. They can also compare these insights to other similar and nearby buildings, helping inform decisions that previously had to be made with little or no data.
This type of engagement establishes what we refer to as a virtuous feedback loop. Having such significant intelligence on the end-user of your product helps create a better user experience, which in turn increases customer engagement and continues to provide you with more useful data. Real-time feedback ensures the longevity of office buildings by giving market leaders the informed, competitive edge they need to make turnkey decisions and guarantee tenant satisfaction.
At the end of the day, landlords and property management teams require the right tools and technology partners to address modern tenant needs — and to make sure that they’re safely bringing people back to offices to counter COVID burnout by keeping tenants happy, healthy, productive, and engaged.
To learn more about how the HqOS™ tenant engagement platform can address your tenants’ needs, schedule a free demo today.