Workplace technology has changed. Over the last few years, industry-leading commercial real estate (CRE) teams began moving away from disparate communication and work order management tools and began adopting all-in-one experience platforms. COVID-19 accelerated this transition.
As businesses reimagined workspaces, CRE leaders needed to act swiftly to retain and attract tenants. Today, platforms that offer the scalability and flexibility required to improve tenant engagement and community among a hybrid workforce are critical to success.
The History of Workplace Technology
Before the pandemic, property teams used a variety of platforms and spreadsheets to manage a wide range of property operations and keep track of asset performance. At the time, optimizing investments in physical buildings was the biggest priority. This meant that the addition or expansion of physical building amenities was thought to be the best way to improve tenant experiences.
Additionally, though technology was getting smarter, most workplace apps only offered backward-looking analysis. Teams had insights into what happened last month or last year, but the technology provided minimal forward-looking guidance — which led to decision-making based on guesswork. This made future investments highly reactive, responding to requests or trends instead of anticipating tenant needs.
As COVID changed the workplace — turning full-time office dwellers into a majority hybrid workforce — the technology shifted to keep pace.
Building Management Technology Transitions to Tenant Experience Apps
Today, the priority is centered on people and personalized workplace experiences. CRE leaders understand that a proactive approach is required to create holistic workplace engagement strategies that add value for all tenants and employees. It’s no longer about the physical asset. Instead, it’s about building successful working relationships that support and bring value to every person in the workplace no matter where they work.
CRE teams are thus looking for ways to connect their building’s physical infrastructure and technology systems with more inclusive and personalized workplace strategies to reach every stakeholder. To do so, they are using tenant experience platforms to complement other technology investments such as connected building offerings, market intelligence tech, geospatial analysis, and portfolio risk analysis tools.
What’s Driving the Adoption of Workplace Apps?
Landlords and property teams cite several factors, including the need for technology that helps them stay connected with tenants and employees.
- More companies are offering hybrid work models. Hybrid work has added new challenges and opportunities for employers. The function of the office has changed and is now seen as a place to collaborate. So too has the physical layout. Instead of rows of desks or cubicles, there is more open space, which has increased the need to book rooms in advance or reserve a workspace or hot desk.
- Employers seek to attract and retain workers. In the midst of the Great Resignation, employers are implementing long-term strategies to create a workplace that feels and functions like a community. Workplace apps help create better work-life balance. Employees can order lunch, book a wellness session, or a conference room using frictionless technology that mirrors the consumer apps they use every day.
- Property teams are implementing tenant engagement strategies. Tenant expectations have increased. To support the modern office, CRE teams are adding more amenities to buildings while also offering a wide range of activities and programming to support the hybrid workforce. To help foster these work communities, many property teams are hiring tenant experience managers to lead the efforts.
These new demands have accelerated the move towards streamlined technology that supports landlords, tenants, employees, and even local vendors and services. Industry leaders are choosing workplace experience apps to attract and retain high-value tenants while providing tools to create a flexible, safe, and tenant-first office environment.
How to Choose a Workplace Experience Platform
Every building, tenant, and employee has their own unique needs. Property teams must therefore choose a platform that lets them easily customize the way they connect with modern tenants and employees. When looking into your own technical providers, consider the following to quickly gain the most value from your investments:
- Does the platform allow you to consolidate different workplace technologies into a single user-friendly app?
- Can you create custom branding for each asset or workplace?
- Will you be able to incorporate workplace engagement capabilities, such as food ordering, retail service requests, transportation, communication, or other access controls into a single app?
- Do you have access to real-time feedback on amenities and experiences including space usage or employee engagement programming?
- Is it easy enough for all team members to use with minimal training?
Want to see how the HqO workplace app can enhance your workplace experiences? Schedule a demo today.