Every company has their own unique take on a flexible workspace. Flexible spaces can come in different forms, from the coworking models introduced to us by WeWork to fully tech-enabled spaces controlled by tenant communication apps on our smartphones.
Shared amenity spaces like conference rooms and on-site cafes offer new environments to work in, while private suites provide dedicated spaces of varying sizes that occupants can lease for short periods of time. These spaces can retain a company’s identity and branding while also making it easy for tenants to reap the benefits of a hybrid work environment.
In a recent poll conducted by HqO, 55% of respondents said they prefer a hybrid work schedule to fully remote or in-person work. No matter how you look at it, new commercial real estate (CRE) environments are driven by a single truth: the hybrid workplace is what modern tenants want.
Fueling Flexibility With Tenant Communication Apps
Major companies that were leading the charge in returning to offices this fall, such as Apple and Amazon, have since revised their plans due to employee demands for more flexibility in the workplace. Google recently spotlighted their hybrid approach, equipped with user friendly in-office setups that can be customized to support all employee needs. For instance, ‘team pods’ spaces like the one pictured below include furniture and monitors that can be reconfigured to support team focus and collaboration between in-person and virtual employees.
To meet employee demands, it is clear that offices need to be more than a physical space that produces work. Today, 43% of workers would consider working from a company-provided location nearer to their home at least a few times a week, and 40% would like to be able to work from a third-party place such as a coffee shop or a coworking space. In response to these changing preferences, 67% of CRE decision makers are increasing workplace mobility programs and incorporating flexible space as a central element of their work strategies.
So, how can property managers and landlords help their tenants provide more flexible, collaborative workspaces for employees? Besides additions like Google’s reconfigurable collaboration spaces, digital tools such as property management software and tenant communication apps can help relay and power new hybrid protocols, available flex spaces, and more.
Communication between landlords and tenants is essential to a hospitality-first workplace: after all, flex spaces only provide value if tenant employees know they exist and how to use them. From reserving a desk space in the office, to booking a shared conference room, all of these hospitality-fueled experiences can be channeled through a single app. This accessibility creates a seamless workplace experience for tenants and building management staff by centralizing needs such as maintenance requests and essential communication with tenants.
Putting Flexible Strategies To Work
Today, leading CRE teams are putting flexible strategies to work using tenant experience technology. We recently sat down with the team at Columbia Property Trust to find out how they are supporting modern tenants with more flexible workspaces. Ultimately, Vice President of Property Management Chris Masotto explained, they are aiming to “reduce the amount of stress that people have on their everyday lives” and deliver a positive experience in the office.
Columbia prioritizes landlord and tenant communication by sharing updates on the technological changes they’re making with their tenant base. Some of the solutions they’ve implemented recently include bipolar ionization to purify the air and add an extra layer of cleanliness, as well as mobile access that eliminates the need for physical cards to enter a building. Because all of this information is available in one app, tenants can feel safe and secure while working in Columbia properties.
The team at Hudson Pacific Properties also utilizes a tenant communication app to relay health and safety protocols to their tenant base. For instance, property managers at the Bentall Centre utilize an in-app feature to send property-wide memos, informing tenants of everything from protocol and cleaning changes, to confirmed COVID-19 cases, to construction updates that may impact access to buildings.
The benefits of offering more flexible and tech-enabled workplaces are endless. For managers and landlords that are looking to bring value back to the office and differentiate their brand from competitors, it’s critical to remain as adaptable as the modern workforce.
Learn how your portfolio can become tech-enabled and adaptable today in our latest guide.