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Leaders Respond to Office Pushback by Enhancing Workplace Technology and Experience

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Recent U.S. Census data shows work from home rates have declined since their pandemic highs, indicating the office market may be beginning to stabilize. Many companies have initiated phased return-to-office plans citing the need to prioritize in-person collaboration, team-building, and maintaining organizational culture.

With 35% of Americans having the option to work full time from home and 58% having the option to work remotely at least one day per week, many have grown accustomed to the flexibility and work-life balance that remote work offers. Leaders are responding to return to office pushback by enhancing workplace technology and improving the in-office experience to support varying work preferences.

Desk Reservations

As companies implement hybrid work policies, many look to contract office leases and reduce real estate expenses. Forward thinking building owners and companies are deploying software that enable employees, tenants, and guests to book a desk, meeting room, or collaboration area prior to making a decision to come into the office. Staff can see when their colleagues are coming in and where they will be stationed allowing for neighborhoods to organically develop.

Frictionless Experience

Minimizing friction upon arrival to a building ensures workers have a positive experience and can focus on their work rather than dealing with logistical issues. Wireless access controls facilitate smooth entry as turnstiles automatically open on approach. Visitor management software, smart elevator dispatch, parking technology, ordering lunch, booking a fitness class, and submitting a work order should all be intuitive and connected in a seamless way.

Corporate Coworking

Companies are turning to coworking facilities to help reduce operating expenses, expand their geographic footprint, and offer flexibility for employees. Others are dedicating portions of their own real estate footprint to corporate flex space. By offering coworking solutions within their own walls, companies can enhance collaboration and cross-functional interactions among teams that may not typically work closely together fostering creativity and innovation.

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Amenitization of Workspace and Engagement Apps

To attract new tenants in a competitive market, owners are investing in engagement apps to differentiate themselves by providing a personalized and modern way to promote property amenities, host events, and offer wellness programs. Concierge services, meditation rooms, fitness centers, dry cleaning, and package management reduce stress, offer convenience, and make days in the office more productive for workers.

Leveraging these real estate and technology strategies enable office owners and corporate leaders to create a work environment that supports hybrid workers, promotes collaboration, and ensures productivity, regardless of employees physical location.

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About Author

Caroline Frith is the Chief Strategy Officer at COVE, a leading product innovation and partnership development for commercial real estate owners and operators. Previously Caroline was responsible for the technology strategy and innovation roadmap at Cushman & Wakefield where she focused on emerging technologies to meet the demands of the global investor market. With 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, investment banking, and data analytics technology, Caroline has established herself as a trusted advisor to clients seeking to discover investment opportunities in PropTech and increase the value of their real estate portfolio. For more information visit cove.is.

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