That traditional office — one where employees commute to the office five days a week and work eight hours a day — was already on its way out even before the rise of COVID-19. The number of companies switching to a hybrid workplace model, in recent years, has been accelerated by the need for more flexibility and better work-life balance. Because of this, in 2020, the number of people working from home doubled.
According to Accenture’s Future of Work study, 83% of corporate employees now prefer a flexible, hybrid working model over working full-time in a single location. This concept of ‘work’ will continue to evolve even more as we navigate a post-pandemic world.
When looking at these trends, the future of office buildings is also changing. Landlords have a lot to consider when it comes to property management. As more companies adopt hybrid practices, how can they create a strong workplace culture that is both productive and inclusive of employees everywhere — one that entices people to work in physical office spaces even with the prominence of hybrid work models? The answer to this question is smart technology.
The Need for Technology
Landlords need to use technology to facilitate flexible, physical-to-digital strategies. Traditional work environments are no longer enough to support modern employee needs. In fact, 92% of landlords agree that people working in the physical office will expect more from the buildings they work in moving forward. Because of this, more than ever, companies are investing in workplace experience platforms.
Landlords are taking note: there has been an increased interest in flexible space configurations to support hybrid workers, as well as touchless technologies for the workplace that would increase productivity and efficiency among tenants and employees. For example, some of these include hot design, access control and visitor management technologies, and food ordering or catering tools. And, for utmost efficiency and productivity, it is important that all of these features are combined into a single, easy-to-use platform.
Landlords have largely recognized the need to utilize new technology that is capable of collecting all tenant engagement data in one place. This technology is super crucial to landlords especially in this uncertain market. Not only does it circumvent the shortcomings of traditional point-in-time annual surveys, but since it is automated, it provides real-time information on tenant preferences and behaviors. This allows landlords to form better strategies that can meet the rapidly shifting demands of the market.
JLL and HqO
The need for a one-stop-shop technology hub is also being recognized by the industry’s biggest players.
When choosing a workplace experience app, Andrew Mezheritskiy, Senior Director within JLL’s Technology Advisory, notes that it’s important to pick a single app for people to use in the building rather than two. People are typically forced to have one mobile app for the building to register visitors, another to complain when their office is too hot or cold, and another app specific to their company for navigating their workplace. This could include disparate technologies allowing people to connect to printers, book conference rooms, and other key workplace functions. With a workplace experience app like HqO’s, however, all of those types of applications morph into one. This removes the wall between the tenant and the employee experience, and provides a more seamless workplace.
Perhaps even more importantly, analytics from apps like HqO give investors and asset managers data to ground their capital investments. This can help real estate owners and investors make better investment decisions and what will have the biggest impact on keeping existing tenants, attracting new ones, and hitting overall revenue targets.
JLL has taken note of these needs, selecting HqO as its preferred workplace technology provider. The close collaboration between HqO and JLL gives JLL asset owners and property managers visibility across their portfolios. This lets them see which types of tenants are accessing the building the most, using amenities, and attending programming.
In order to best serve and support tenants in today’s industry, landlords and property teams need to work together to provide more long term tech-enabled workplace environments for tenants and employees working in the hybrid workplace.
Want to learn more about HqO’s workplace solutions? Schedule a consultation today.