For CRE owners and property managers, the future of the workplace is a hot-button issue – one that is also constantly evolving.
Equiem tenant experience technology galvanises CRE assets against the uncertainty of the future, by giving tenants an attractive alternative to remote working. The right smart technology can help CRE owners prove that the office is a hub of productivity and community, thereby converting office buildings into consumer products tailored to the wants of the individual.
In two recent webinars – hosted in conjunction with Commercial Observer and Estates Gazette, respectively – we’ve united CRE owners and tenant experience experts to discuss trends and predictions related to the future of the workplace. Here are 11 of the most interesting insights uncovered.
On increased amenitization and flexible space options
From Melanie Chin
“There are a lot of drivers for people to come into the office – one, so that they can explore their new space. That will really help our tenants when they are starting the return to work conversation with their employees – they can boast about these different features and amenities of the building to get them there.”
“If you’re used to working out of your backyard you can do that in the (office) park, so you’re kind of in the office but not really in the office. We have flexible work spaces, too, so you can easily transition back to regular work life without giving up some of the comforts you developed while at home in COVID.”
On new and unexpected Leesman Research
From Nate Hewitt
Head of Digital and Inbound Marketing, Equiem
“Workplaces with the highest LMI (Leesman Index) scores, known as Leesman Plus workplaces, make their employees want to work more days per week in the office.
"The call to action here to owners here is obvious and it’s very positive: First class amenities and first class service coupled with well-integrated technology and a solid community element gives you the best possible chance of increasing occupancy rates and thriving in the new world that is emerging in CRE.”
“Tenant experience is one quotient of what makes a place a Leesman Plus workplace. You cannot possibly hope to create a thriving community, a well amenitized community, the community of the future, the workplace of the future, without tenant experience.”
On the evolution of tenant demand for British Land
From Sally Jones
Head of Strategy, Digital and Technology at British Land, UK
“It was absolutely clear that what people wanted from offices was a kind of hub for meetings, collaboration space, a place to attract and retain talent.”
“We’ve got the Equiem tenant engagement app – we weren’t putting things in it like occupancy and air quality measurement, although we could do it. And these are the kind of things people are coming to ask us for now...it’s been a huge accelerator of occupier demand which is great to see because we had invested ahead of the curve.”
On the importance of in-person collaboration
From Chris Rising
CEO, Rising Realty Partners, US
“As time went on, one of the things that we noticed as a company, is that we were lacking that human interaction.
You look back at business books going back to the ‘70s and there’s this concept that when you’re further apart, you communicate less, you interact less. There is no doubt that companies have thrived globally with hub-and-spoke [models], but when you’re trying to get projects done, there’s a reason why the architects are all in one studio together. There’s a reason why certain law practices are together. And I think what we saw coming out of this, and what we continue to see, is that human interaction is really essential.”
“When people work together on something, there’s the vulnerability loop that they talk about a lot. When I’m vulnerable around somebody, and somebody else is vulnerable, we get to a better place of working together. And I just don’t think those things are replicable in a Zoom environment.”
On the introduction of smart building technologies
From Chris Rising
CEO, Rising Realty Partners, US
“We think there’s going to be continued ammenitization. You’re going to have to utilize things like Equiem, which we use in our buildings, that allow for this total interaction between a tenant, an employee and the building.
We’re doing things now like [showing] what the quality of the air is, and the light, and the water so that people get a sense that the place that they’re in is really a beautiful place to be. And a wonderful place to be. And a safe place to be.”
“Employees and tenants are much more educated about their own safety, and if you can’t meet that and answer those questions I think you’re at a real disadvantage to attract businesses.”
From Eric Roseman
Vice President, Lincoln Property Company, US
“An inviting and healthy space is table stakes. Curation, convenience and experience is now the differentiator between ‘ugh, I’ll show up’ and ‘yes, I can’t wait to go!’”