Experimental vaccines have passed trials and are now in early stages of distribution. While this news does not signal the end of the pandemic, it does encourage many to start daydreaming about returning to normalcy.
For landlords, this presents an opportunity to help shape that daydream, removing lingering safety concerns and setting the scene for a compelling workday experience that provides a welcome escape from the home office.
To do this, landlords should focus on two things: clearly articulating their building's safety measures (ideally through an engaging medium, like video), and demonstrating a commitment to creating a next-normal workplace experience (by offering new amenities like virtual programming), acknowledging a permanent shift for many of their tenants to a hybrid work experience.
In our recently published Global Office Report 2020, over 60% of occupiers said they would not return to the office "until it feels safe". The need for enhanced tenant experience, with safety at the forefront, raises the opportunity for landlords to make their mark with clear communications, adapted tenant engagement, and most importantly comprehensive return-to-work solutions.
Here we present our top simple recommendations for remote engagement, occupier confidence and trust-building, as well as adapting operations for a safe return-to-work from our global portfolio of major landlords.
Create re-entry guides for occupiers
A re-entry guide video gives you the opportunity to virtually walk your tenants through all key touchpoints of their journey - from entering and exiting the building, to accessing amenities like the gym, showers, or bike storage rooms.
In your re-entry video, consider including a walkthrough of the entrance/exit experience; notes on where temperature checks will be taken (if available); locations for finding hand sanitiser; or how lift access has changed. Give an overview of how amenity access has changed, or if there have been changes to cleaning schedules.
The re-entry video will help strengthen confidence in your occupiers, and get them excited about returning to a workplace where their landlord cares about their well-being.
Pro tip: Equiem provides re-entry video hosting capabilities for all clients, and delivers the video directly to all tenants through our mobile and web app.
Communicate return-to-work strategies regularly
Beyond re-entry videos, landlords must also be in regular communication on their sanitisation plans, their engagement efforts, updates to office infrastructure, and changes to office amenities and building access.
Get in touch with your tenants through regular email updates, being sure to keep your communication cadence consistent. Before sending your complete return-to-work guide, release a survey or poll to more accurately understand top tenant concerns about returning to the workplace.
Pro tip: with Equiem, you can also communicate through SMS and push notifications, and utilise COVID-19 email templates. The more often you update your tenants on how you're making the building as safe as possible - the more confident they'll be to eventually return.
Improve tenant engagement with wellbeing support
Serving tenant wellbeing was a key trend and focus for customer-first landlords pre-pandemic. As tenants begin to prepare for the "next-normal" -- where a percentage of the workforce works more dynamically between home and office -- the demand for wellbeing services to support remote workers has doubled.
From the comfort (or discomfort) of the home office, you can reconnect with your remote workers through virtual wellbeing experiences. These include everything from live streamed fitness classes to follow-along meditation workshops. Partner with wellbeing providers to provide content series and editorial campaigns focused on tips and tricks for the home office worker, and use content segmentation to target interested occupiers. Supporting tenants in their home office is the key to continuing to engage remote workers, and keeping the dialogue open when conversations about returning to the office begin.
Pro tip: Equiem already partners with a number of virtual programming and service providers, which come pre-loaded in our Core offering, making it easy for management teams to turn on these services immediately.
Improve tenant experience with touchless technology
In our recent survey, 48% of occupiers believe changes are required to reduce the likelihood of incidental contact.
Installing touchless access points can greet tenants with safety and convenience as they return to their offices, as well as manage the flow of traffic. To supplement a touchless egress experience, landlords should consider implementing arrival time bookings, allowing for traffic flow management, reducing the possibility of overcrowding, and providing confidence to tenants that they'll be able to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Also, providing your tenants the opportunity to book amenities through an app or platform remotely (not from a shared touchscreen in front of the room), will help assuage fears, diminish risk, and get occupiers and their employees excited to come back and interact with their workplace and its amenities.
Pro tip: Equiem partners and integrates with all the leading access control providers, and offers a dynamic flex space management system, making it easy for landlords to manage their common area offerings.
Rebuilding occupier confidence is more than sending emails to key tenant contacts, and providing hand sanitiser at entry points.
Developing a comprehensive return strategy will help you differentiate yourself as a landlord, and provide your occupiers with the safety and security they need to confidently return to the office.
To find out more about Equiem's services or to get started, head to getequiem.com.