Blurring the Line Between Tenant and Technology in the Workplace

Going to work today should look something like this. The night before, you open an app to see which colleagues will also be in the office that day and to reserve the desk where you want to sit. In the morning, after presenting your badge in the lobby, you will also pick up your coffee order placed last night. He is ready and waiting for you. Once at your office, you don’t forget to register the client you meet as a visitor so that he can enter the building. You’re lucky – the conference room with the best view is available for your meeting, so you book it.

Each of these actions gives workplace owners and leaders a clue as to how people are structuring their workdays today. From what desks and meeting spaces they prefer if they’ve signed up for on-site fitness classes, these interactions can all be captured and used to bring people back to the office on a regular basis. Ultimately, this is what will ensure that revenues and valuations don’t suffer from underutilized buildings and disgruntled tenants. Instead of investors, owners, and property managers working separately to increase time spent in the office, they could collaborate and share data with each other to determine which experiments are worth doing.

“There are over 8,000 proptech companies today. Our job is to create a technology stack that helps you understand everything that happens in the building in one place, not only for property managers, but also for investors and property owners, ”said Andrew Mezheritskiy, director principal on JLL’s technology board.

One of the first changes Mezheritskiy recommends is to choose one app to use in the building rather than two. Typically, people are forced to have a building app to check in visitors and complain that their office is too hot or cold, and another company-specific app to navigate their workplace (login to printers, reservation of conference rooms, etc.).

These two types of applications become one thanks to HqO, which removes the wall between the tenant and the employee experience. Mezheritskiy explains, “HqO connects people to the building itself, as well as to their corporate workplace in one place. People can book conference rooms, order food, communicate with their team outside of email, and focus on benefits that are a priority for a company’s culture, all without having to switch apps or to remember who does what.

Ultimately, this data can help property owners and investors make better decisions about which capital improvements will have the greatest impact on retaining existing tenants, attracting new ones, and meeting overall revenue goals. Why change the general office layout or invest in new equipment if that’s not what construction people really want? Instead of simply copying what other nearby buildings are doing or guessing what people’s new expectations are of the office, analytics from apps like HqO provide investors and asset managers with data to base their capital investments. These analytics can be as simple as tracking the most popular days or times for scheduling and amenity usage through RSVPs and reservations in a tenant experience platform.

This data can also identify any correlation between amenities and daily schedule and occupancy peaks for the entire building and for an individual tenant. The reverse is also true. Property managers can identify at-risk tenants who have unused office space because their employees are not encouraged to return to the building and, most importantly, create a game to protect that revenue.

Additionally, understanding space utilization through reservations and deployed sensors enables property managers and workplace leaders to adjust new space designs and offerings based on actual usage. Instead of relying solely on shared preferences in survey feedback, beacons spread throughout a building tell decision makers exactly which seating configurations are preferred and which conference rooms are most popular.

“People say one thing in the survey and then do the exact opposite,” said Kevin Anderson, senior vice president of sales for Flex by JLL. “Relying solely on this information to justify real estate decisions – usually the biggest job in a company behind your employees – means that your strategy will inevitably be rooted in speculation, rather than facts about how people use it. space today.”

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This closer collaboration is based on a new level of sharing not only between the property manager and the tenant, but also between the buildings in a portfolio. It is unrealistic to assume that asset management teams have enough time to do this on their own. Instead, the portfolio’s shared tech stack should know which buildings are similar in a given portfolio. Then, the stack can aggregate performance data and automatically share information about programs, space designs, and other offerings that positively impact occupancy, tenant satisfaction, and bottom line.

HqO, for example, gives asset owners and property managers visibility into their portfolios to see what types of tenants — size, sector, even employee demographics — are most accessing the building, using amenities, and participating in programs. This information helps leasing teams target their marketing and sales activities to love tenants, reducing the time and cost needed to win over a prospect and increasing the likelihood of winning long-term satisfied tenants.

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Perhaps the most significant impact of technology on existing tenants is the removal of friction points during their working days. Even the lobby experience is upgraded for convenience. Apps such as HqO and the Swiftconnect access control system allow people to enter the building with their phone, with no security badge required. Mezheritskiy explains, “People don’t need to stop at a security office if it’s their first time working there. They can go from building to building and, if they have access, use their phone to go through the turnstile. It’s all about convenience and speed.

To some this may seem like technological overkill, but this lobby experience is the first impression for people returning to the office, many of whom weren’t working at their companies before the pandemic began. Eliminating this building access anxiety is one less barrier to getting people back into the office. By making it easy for everyone to do things like book a conference room, check in visitors, and make service requests, occupants can have more power in their workplaces and construction crews have a better sense of how to create travel-worthy experiences.

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