What is the digital workplace? In today’s world, going digital means creating a workplace where employees and tenant companies can experience highly customized environments for every need. These are spaces that are inherently more comfortable, because smart technology adjusts to fit the people who use it. They are more secure, because the building knows who belongs, and who does not. They are simpler and more convenient, because of technology that anticipates everything from the ideal temperatures of a room to when maintenance tasks should be performed. The importance of the digital workplace transformation increases as more and more buildings offer high-tech amenities in an already competitive market. Thus, adding a digital touch to your commercial real estate venture’s current plans can make or break your business.
Models for the Digital Workplace
Around the world, there are model examples that show a variety of digital workplace solutions that smart buildings can provide for the people who work inside them. By implementing a range of digital amenities, these buildings have become more sustainable, more convenient, more secure, and more engaging. Here are just a few:
- One of the top digital workplace examples that represents the future of smart buildings is Watson IoT HQ in Munich, Germany. This building integrates key Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into daily use to meet its inhabitants’ needs. For example, it uses tenants’ smartphones and digital devices to learn their daily patterns and can determine who is seated where in the building, adjust temperatures based on preference, and even provide ambient light for comfort.
- RBC Waterpark Place in Toronto, Canada is another intuitive implementation of such technology. It was specifically designed with employee productivity and satisfaction in mind. The building begins making each worker’s life easier by directing them to the quickest elevator when they arrive. After that, it adjusts the height of work desks to fit the user and adds other customizations throughout the day. Meeting rooms can even detect the number of people present to adjust the temperatures accordingly.
- In London, The Crystal is as functional as it is beautiful. This building uses over 3,500 data points to guarantee that all systems function optimally at all times. This multifunction building houses exhibition and event space, as well as office space for Siemens’ global engineering staff.
3 Ways to Enhance Your Workplace Strategy
Adding digital workplace services is a great way to match consumer trends and increase customer satisfaction — which contributes directly to attracting and retaining tenants. If you’re not sure what to include in your digital workplace transformation initiatives, here are three features you should consider for your office building:
- Mobile Access Control: These systems allow employees to scan in and out of the building using their personal digital device, without ever having to touch a physical surface. A digital access system is more convenient than key cards and less expensive than in-person security. It is also far more secure, since only those who the system authorizes can get access to the building.
- Automate Service Requests and Resource Booking: A responsive service and maintenance department is a must-have for tenant satisfaction. Instead of making tenants call in requests for maintenance repairs, allow them to easily make requests through your building’s tenant app. They can request cleaning, repairs, or replacements of essentials like light bulbs with the push of a button. In the same vein, make it easy for tenants to request use of conference rooms and other building spaces. By streamlining reservations through your building’s app, they can check the schedule to see when a space is available and book it with just a few clicks. Even better: they can also add food and beverage services for the meeting.
- Leverage Digital Programming: Modern-day tenants have a more flexible work schedule, and therefore can work outside of the building just as frequently as they do inside of the building. To make sure you’re keeping them connected to your workplace culture and on-site amenities — even on the go — leveraging tenant experience software to offer unique digital programming initiatives will keep tenants engaged, wherever they are. These may include virtual fitness classes with on-site coaches, volunteering opportunities, weekly trivia games, and special in-app deals for local retailers and restaurants.
The Lasting Benefits of the Modern Digital Workplace
Adding digital workplace amenities will benefit your property team and tenants now, as well as in the months and years to come. As our clients have found, adding a tenant engagement and property app makes it far more convenient for tenants to get what they want and need: in one case, 74% of tenants engaged with a whitelabeled tenant app over a 60-day period.
The digital workplace allows for seamless operations that lead to memorable building experiences. With solutions like touchless entry and communication, people can even continue to use spaces while following updated health and safety regulations. Such a workplace is also more sustainable and efficient. Smart buildings all over the world make automatic adjustments so that resources like air conditioning, heating, and lighting are used in the most optimal way. This means lower energy costs and less energy waste.
Bringing your commercial real estate ventures into the digital workplace transformation gives you a stance to compete with. Want to learn more? Check out our industry outlook.