Deep currents of change are reshaping the modern office space as we used to know it. Corporate Real Estates (CRE) are dealing with some changes driven by the COVID pandemic and others accelerated by it. The Great Resignation continues, as newly empowered professionals decide that the lifestyle trade offs they previously lived with are no longer acceptable, contributing even more momentum to the shift away from the settled order of office-based work.
The fundamental transformation we are witnessing in the traditional workplace paradigm was in progress before the pandemic hit, but the confluence of these two powerful forces has forced CRE to react quickly to solve immediate problems. While this is understandable, some of their early decisions are now being questioned, both for their effectiveness and long-term viability.
Managers of office spaces and their tenants have reacted to the pandemic in a number of ways, mostly well-intentioned ad hoc solutions designed to contain the spread of the virus and possibly provide insights into the movements of individuals who may have come into contact with confirmed cases.
Contact tracing enjoyed strong early support for understandable reasons but efforts to implement typically lost direction after a short time due to the complexity of the task and the lack of dedicated solutions.
Two years into the pandemic, we’re mostly free from the pressure to make quick decisions about how we handle these issues and CRE have a bit of space in which to reflect on how to best invest in solutions that will not only work but be effective and useful going forward.
This is a key point because many spaces have seen the introduction of short-term fixes that will either have little to no value in a post-pandemic environment or suffer from some other drawback that severely limits their utility.
Many solutions adopted specifically to deal with COVID fit into this category. Again, while we can sympathize with the intent behind them, these solutions can play little if any role now and will need to be replaced at yet more cost. Like their literal counterparts, these metaphorical band-aids can work well in the short term but cannot provide long-term support.
On top of their usual tasks, CRE managers are now faced with selecting from a range of options to create and sustain a better working environment. Before this choice can be made, however, it’s necessary to have a clear understanding of the areas that need to be addressed and how any choice might evolve to meet changing circumstances.
With the clarity that we’ve gained after two years, it is easier now to better define the problem you want to solve and address it with a better, more flexible solution. Instead of spending resources on a solution limited to dealing with the pandemic (and even then not completely effectively), property managers are now looking at flexible, adaptable solutions that can serve them well over an extended time.
Kontakt.io delivers digital building services that provide people with pleasant, useful, and safe indoor experiences. Providing the lowest total cost of ownership, supporting all use cases, and having the most reliable and accurate data on the market. Helping buildings work for people. These services form a broad and scalable platform to address ongoing problems in the office space through people-centric answers to these problems. They also supply the data and analytical insights needed to prove real progress in a number of metrics, justify the investment, and measure ROI. Kontakt.io’s offer for workspaces addresses these key areas:
- Health & Wellness. The ability to be alerted to changes in environmental conditions in real time is now a must. The same infrastructure that tracks workflows and occupancy can also monitor humidity, temperature, air quality, and even light levels so you’ll know when there’s a condition that exceeds norms or needs attention. It’s easier than ever to make sure everyone using a particular space is staying in a “healthy” environment.
- Space as a Service. Our digital building services make spaces better, safer, and more occupant-friendly places to work and visit. In an age when enticing employees to give up the comforts of home and devote at least part of their weekly schedule to being in-office has become a real challenge, this is a crucial asset. Our technolgy helps your team facilitate space management, manage bookings, and improve space utilization based on real-time & historical occupancy data to plan hot desking and enable auto-release to inventory.
- Asset Location & Workflows. Looking for various office amenities and supplies is a frustrating waste of time for everyone. With location and status tracking, finding what you need and getting notifications about what isn’t in working order can be done with a click. Spend less time searching and more working & arrange for various tools and tech to be restored to working order before it’s needed again. It’s all about improving the office experience and eliminating easily avoidable headaches that distract from the working day.
We are well into a transitional phase, the length of which is anyone’s guess. However, we can be sure that once we come out on the other side, there will be a new reality for CRE. Many of the solutions were designed and deployed with the narrow mission of helping to combat COVID will struggle to find relevance in a post-pandemic setting. Facilities with these soon-to-be legacy infrastructures will have to pivot and invest in new, more flexible solutions to meet the needs of a contemporary office environment shaped by The Great Resignation and other influences with longer-lasting effects.
Long-term solutions that can prove their value through changing circumstances are available now. CREs have options that didn’t exist at the outbreak of the pandemic and are now able to implement support that can help with both current and future issues related to workplace comfort, safety and convenience.
Before you commit to investing in a particular type of solution, be sure that it can grow with you and keep delivering value long after the current challenges have been resolved.