Presented By: Equiem
How New Tenant Desires Are Establishing a Blueprint for the Workplace of the Future
Future Of Workplace Experience brought to you by Equiem
The past several years have seen sweeping changes in the nature of the workplace that might have seemed unimaginable prior to 2020.
But the embrace of work-from-home combined with recent labor shortages have made clear that the workplace is changing in permanent ways. The best employees, having experienced unprecedented flexibility in their work situations, will demand continued flexibility moving forward. For situations that do require an in-office presence, they will seek advantages rarely considered before, including airflow designed to promote health and an overall environment that doesn’t make them wish that were back home, working from their backyard in their pajamas.
What this means for landlords and property managers, therefore, is a new, more accommodating approach to the office, more akin to hospitality management than the “we simply provide desks” mentality of old.
Equiem, the smart tenant experience and analytics platform that empowers landlords and property managers to accomplish this, has just released the 2021 “Global Office Tenant Report: Future of Work Edition,” a survey of over 3,200 occupiers from the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Australia. The findings provide valuable insight into what office employees will be seeking in their employment situations. As such, the report serves as a valuable blueprint for landlords and property managers as they ensure their properties are perfectly designed for the workplace of the future.
The majority of the report’s most striking findings involve how occupiers expect to be served by technology. The most heavily desired features include touchless access control — sought by 54.1 percent of respondents — indoor air quality (37.8 percent), and flex-space options (37.1 percent).
“We asked a lot of questions about technology in the report,” said Gabrielle McMillan, Equiem’s co-founder and CEO. “How can technology be used to improve the tenant experience? What were the expectations? Key findings include that there is a reluctance to be touching things, so they want a digital ID that gets them around the building. And one of the biggest insights from the survey was the increase in awareness of air quality in the building. That would not have been top of mind pre-COVID, and that requires technology.”
Equiem’s SMART dashboard facilitates this by providing landlords and occupiers with a complete, real-time picture of building conditions, from lobby traffic to overall building occupancy to the quality of the air throughout the building.
Two-thirds of the report’s respondents also said the Equiem platform is preferred for staying up to date on goings-on within the building, such as events, safety guidelines and conveniences such as shoeshine or dry-cleaning facilities, as landlords use Equiem to communicate with occupiers via newsletters, email blasts and through updates on their digital screens.
“With Equiem’s platform, we have been fortunate to have the ability to communicate with all of our tenants, on or off property, which has been a godsend during these uncertain times,” said Jimmy Parker, director of culture initiative at Stockdale Capital Partners. “We are planning to use its impressive capabilities in communicating our return-to-work plans, smoothing the transition, and welcoming our tenants back to their building. Equiem has allowed us to serve and support our tenants at the highest level.”
The report also drives home how occupiers see the office as a community, as 73 percent said that the main purpose of the office is to stay connected to colleagues, and 70 percent view it as a place for collaboration.
These are essential realizations for landlords and property managers strategizing how to bring employees back to the office.
“The fundamental reason people want to come back to the office is to collaborate and connect with other people—and not just their colleagues, but the entire building community,” McMillan said. “There’s a desire to get back and be social, to network, to attend events. There’s an understanding that the office building can provide amenities and experiences that are very different than what you get working from home.”
While this information might seem daunting to landlords and property managers taking a hospitality approach for the first time, there is encouraging news here for those that get it right.
The percentage of people who feel more productive working from home than from the office has dropped from 47.86 percent in 2020 to 39.61 percent now. Also, over half of respondents are open to spending most of their working time in an office that caters to their needs.
“It’s all about choices,” McMillan said. “People are finding there’s a time to be at home, where perhaps you can do deep-thinking work. With office layouts moving away from the corner office and toward open plan over the last 20 years, it was becoming harder to have that isolated, deep-think productivity in the majority of offices. But the home office has limitations that will lead people back, primarily because they want to connect with colleagues. And now that they’ve got choice, the quality of that environment is very important.”
The key for landlords and property managers using Equiem to help fulfill this comes from the company’s massive data capabilities, as the Equiem platform has a steady stream of data flowing in from all possible occupier touch points, manifesting as actionable feedback through Equiem’s analytics dashboards.
The platform processes millions of data points along 11 user-friendly dashboards to provide a comprehensive picture of the physical building, the tenant community and the landlord or property manager’s engagement strategy. Using Equiem, therefore, provides landlords and property managers with all the information they need to ensure that their buildings are optimized for the future, promoting tenant engagement in a way designed to make the return to the office as desirable as possible.
“The data is the hero here,” McMillan said. “There are two key elements to what Equiem does that relate very closely to this, and they’re intertwined. One is the digital technology platform that puts everything in one place to progressively improve the experience — streamlining interactions, automating workflows, removing friction. That in itself improves the workplace experience. But what’s happening behind the scenes is possibly more important, and that’s that every interaction happening on the platform is captured. What that creates for landlords and property managers is this incredible, valuable data set that really helps guide them as they look to bring people back to the office.”
View more articles on the Future Of Workplace Experience here.