Guest post by Leon Papkoff (@LeonPapkoff), CEO and Chief Strategist, The CXApp

SpaaS (space as a service) is a relatively new outcrop of ‘aaS’ technology surging in property tech. That’s because the focus in workplace, campus, venue management, corporate real estate, you name it – has shifted to analyzing the space you have and optimizing it for dynamic workflows and experiential journeys.

Space(s) in real estate planning in the corporate sector are already underused. The model, over time, and company policy has become stagnant. Traditionally you get assigned a desk, within your department, and that’s ‘your’ space for your tenure. Unless departments shift or move floors, or you yourself laterally make a move, your desk is your desk. The cafeteria is the cafeteria. The C-suite offices are just that.

But companies like Deloitte, Citigroup, Google and other tech giants are shifting this model to align with more dynamic workplace needs, where seating is ‘unassigned’ and employees choose whatever setting best supports the activity or task at hand.

Corporate campuses and corporate real estate professionals in recent years have begun to evaluate spatial environments to get a better understanding of how their space is being utilized to maximize ROI.

Today’s Workforce

What employees demand of their work environment is impacting the supply side. Because employee work regiments have become increasingly agile and mobile, so too are the spaces that support them. Rising remote workforces, and flexible schedules have diminished the need for cubicles, offices, and other stationary spaces that are reserved for a 40+ hour work week schedule where everyone is always in the office.

The 40 hour work week hasn’t changed- but when and where people leverage those 40+ hours has. Collaborative, online tools and mobile technologies have opened the door to ‘on-the-go’ and remote teleconferencing work environments that support agile work styles.

Use Cases

When it comes to SpaaS, here are some high-level use cases you can leverage when evaluating your space:

  • Occupancy Levels.
  • Vacancies: Understanding underused, less frequented areas of your space can influence reformatting to bring vigor back to that space, or eliminate it all together.
  • Overpopulation: Knowing which areas, desks, floors etc. are the most popular and in-demand can shed insights into creating more spaces around your facility that mirror that model. Is it lighting, location to food, desk layout… what is leading to overpopulation?
  • Peak Times and Down Times. Timing also can help optimize collective or team building engagement touchpoints. If there are peak times that your space is being used, you can adjust company meetings or activities to not occur at that time because it is a peak for productivity. Similarly, in down times, you can find creative ways to fill a space during off-hours to bring more engagement back into the fold.
  • Employee Empowerment.Your workforce benefits from a flexible work environment. Allowing them to choose their ideal work space, re-allocate their needs on a day to day, hour by hour basis should improve productivity and teamwork (i.e. using collaborative spaces for meetings, and moving to quieter zones when working independently).

Technology-enabled structural changes in the corporate real estate marketplace, like mobile apps, digital signage, AI, and IoT are greatly aiding this shift to SPaaS environments and restructuring the way space is utilized.

The focus now is for renting or owning real estate where you can buy or configure the features and services most important to your organization’s work environment- leading to modular office spaces, a la cart offerings, and personalized utilities.

Because of this change property managers and corporate real estate managers have become more intertwined with focusing on workplace experience.

As CEO and Chief Strategist for The CXApp (a division of Design Reactor), Leon Papkoff has worked with Fortune 500 companies to build programs that deliver personalized, interactive experiences for enhanced business operations across events, meetings, communities and workplace management.