Guest Post by Sanziana Bona, Content Marketing Specialist, Yardi

Technology has been a leading force for many businesses in the last few years. From streamlined work processes to significantly improving the usage of time and resources, technology adoption has proved to be essential not only for companies but also for employees.

With the COVID-19 pandemic enhancing the need for businesses to adopt new and advanced technology solutions, the future of work depends on such solutions to ensure workplace productivity, as well as employee health and safety. And according to a study conducted by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), both commercial space owners and tenants understand the importance of technology in what is to be the future of work: hybridization.

Must-Have Technology

Many companies have invested significantly into adjusting their infrastructure and technology to better respond to the current health crisis. Work-from-home will not be replaced by a complete return to the office, rather both models will become part of a hybrid work plan and certain measures have to be implemented to ensure the safety of the users of commercial office spaces. As such, technology will be a fundamental component of the future of such office spaces, simply because the future of the industry requires it. Here are some of the must-have technology features of a safe, hybrid workplace, as reported by a recent BOMA industry survey.

HVAC

Working in a world facing a pandemic requires access to high-end technology in the office space. In this case, high-end technology tends to mostly refer to infrastructures that safeguard against harmful pathogens and touchless technology. As a matter of fact, according to the survey conducted by BOMA, the majority of respondents indicated that landlords should make investing in HVAC and touchless features a priority. With improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in place, office spaces can be considered safe to work for those choosing to do so.

Touchless Technology

Along the same lines, touchless technology is another way to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable work environment for employees. Among the most common touchless features requested by tenants are an app that grants users access to elevators, doors and parking and key fob tracking, which allows for a better understanding of occupancy rates and traffic flow. This prevents occupiers from touching the same surfaces as other users and allows for an easier, more productive work system.

Online Reservation System

Another essential feature to include in the workplace is an online reservation system. This is meant to target every area from desks, conference rooms and social lounges. Not only does this eliminate contact between users and office staff, but it creates a more organized, comfortable and productive environment for occupiers. For instance, office hoteling allows users to select a safe and appropriate workspace before coming to the office. They can use their phones to easily check-in, have access to amenities and facilities within the office and even have in-app communication including maintenance requests. Employees choose the days they want to work from the office and know exactly where they are going to be seated, increasing comfort and confidence when using the office space.

Key Fob Tracking

The online reservation system can prove beneficial to not only employees but to the occupiers themselves. Using a key fob tracking system, office managers can receive occupancy-related data to better optimize the space for employees. They can use the data to understand occupancy and traffic flow through the space, which allows them to ensure that the workplace maintains its safety and efficiency while being used. This information can also prove valuable for occupiers that need to either scale up or scale down, depending on how many employees are taking advantage of the office space.

The future of office spaces remains unclear and will be different from our previous definition of “normal.” Though working from home became the standard over the past year, the desire to return to the office is still present among many employees. Fortunately, companies are focusing on implementing changes that make their spaces safe to accommodate those looking to embrace a hybrid work plan. And technology is the biggest change and improvement we are going to see in the future, living and working during the pandemic and beyond.

Sanziana Bona is Content Marketing Specialist at Yardi