by Brianna Crandall — July 10, 2017 — Amidst rising occupancy costs, companies are tasked with creating a user experience, in part through technology, that makes employees more efficient and effective, and that makes the office the preferred place to work, according to the latest Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs report from global property advisor CBRE Group’s Research division.
The report notes that technology is the biggest catalyst of change in the workplace today, as mobile devices, virtual networks, videoconferencing and cloud storage have created a seamless transition from the physical workplace of the 20th century to the virtual workplace of the 21st century. Companies increasingly are using sophisticated technology offerings as a way to attract and retain talent in a competitive hiring environment.
Technology is also being used by occupiers to understand and manage their occupancy patterns in sophisticated ways and create an environment that maximizes employee efficiency.
Lenny Beaudoin, leader of CBRE’s Global Workplace practice, commented:
One of the coolest things we see organizations doing today is thinking about the opportunity to connect people more effectively. A building is inherently a social network, and predictive technology can be used to connect people working on similar projects, connect people to space and connect people to services that help them make more efficient use of their time.
Georgia Collins, who co-leads CBRE’s Americas Workplace practice, noted:
Predictive tools will help us accelerate how professional networks are built and relationships are formed. This will be facilitated by technology, but it will be the responsibility of someone at the local level to take on a concierge-type role that will foster these relationships. Many commercial real estate organizations are transforming to fill this role.
Health and wellness is also a growing trend in workplaces across the globe, and technology related to health and wellness, such as wearable fitness trackers, apps and social network platforms, is growing in usage. These platforms are making health and wellness more fun and interactive for employees, while allowing companies to better understand the impact and effectiveness of their programs. However, simply providing the technology is only the first step, according to the report.
Julie Whelan, Americas head of occupier research, CBRE, stated:
Analyzing data to create targeted campaigns to employees based on health needs and evaluating program effectiveness according to healthcare spend is the future in this space. As demographics in the workplace get younger and technology advances, we expect this trend in health and wellness to grow.