Why PropTech is a Key Piece of Post-Pandemic Office Operations
Guest post by Tom Stanford, Founder & CEO, Nuvolo
We’re in the midst of a historic shift in what constitutes “normal” workplace operations for office buildings.
The global pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends like the rise of remote work and hybrid schedules. Now, employees are beginning to expect a different approach to work—and it’s on leaders to keep up with those expectations.
The use of property technology, or PropTech, has exploded in this new environment. For an area that has traditionally under-invested in new technology, this marks a major shift for office building operations.
PropTech is giving leaders access to new capabilities, data streams, and strategic insights. And because speed is crucial in an ever-changing environment, the digitization of workplace data and operations is allowing companies to make well-informed decisions faster than ever.
Organizations that harness this technology successfully are applying it in two major areas: enhancing the employee experience and understanding space utilization.
Enhancing the Employee Experience
According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 73% of employees want flexible remote work options to continue. But that doesn’t mean they want to be exclusively remote.
In fact, 67% of them want more in-person work or collaboration in the post-pandemic workplace.
So, how can employers reconcile these two seemingly opposing requests? They can implement PropTech solutions that help deliver on both.
Leaders should seek out solutions that make the workplace more collaborative and human-focused, giving employees the autonomy to decide how they use the space.
For example, adding a desk reservation system can make it easy for employees to utilize office space in a reliable way, even when there are no assigned seating arrangements. A system like this can also be used to reserve conference rooms for in-person meetings with colleagues and clients.
The key benefit here is empowering employee choice, which could prove to be a competitive advantage in the talent market as more people seek flexible work environments.
Understanding Space Utilization
Building utilization is constantly in flux within a hybrid workplace. For space and real estate leaders, the ability to see occupancy numbers and forecast space needs is invaluable.
Linking PropTech solutions to sensors, badge scanners, or space reservation systems can provide a rich data stream that enables leaders to make thoughtful decisions about how to best use their space.
This might mean reorganizing a floorplan (which can be achieved within some PropTech solutions using simple, drag-and-drop space editing tools), subleasing unused space, or selling an underutilized property.
By using technology to measure space utilization at the enterprise level, organizations can quickly and confidently determine the most efficient ways to configure their real estate portfolios.
A Tech-Focused Future
We’re seeing unprecedented levels of investment in PropTech across all industries right now. Companies that have traditionally relied on spreadsheets and clipboards to manage their workplace operations are realizing that digital solutions bring enormous upside to their business. It may be a challenging transition for some, but the companies that embrace these solutions will be in a better position to attract and retain talent while making faster, more cost-effective decisions about their office space.