Remote Workers, Building Owners, and Technology
The lines are being drawn as the world looks to re-emerge from the throws of the pandemic. Workers are demanding more flexibility and certainly have seen the benefits of working remotely.
Imagine being a property manager, building owner, or real estate investment trust (REIT) these days. They are in the crosshairs of dueling agendas as many don’t see the need to return to the physical confines of an office. Look at these insights from Owl Labs:
o 75% of workers are as productive or more productive working from home.
o Working from home saves on average 40 minutes daily in commute time.
o 77% indicate working from home makes them happier.
o 1 in 2 won’t return to their job unless it offers a continued working from home option.
o Employers save $11,000 per year on each work from home (WFH) employees.
Happier employees, higher productivity, and cost savings – even those only comfortable with line-of-sight management cannot ignore the changes in attitude and the fact that how we work has changed for good.
But if we learned one thing about work during the pandemic it is that technology can make what we all thought impossible – possible. Think about it, in the blink of an eye, every knowledge worker in the world was able to be productive and contribute from their homes.
The only difference between the depths of the pandemic and now – we had no choice and just made things work and they did. Fast forward to today and you can already see some returning to old thinking and refusing to make the changes necessary to deal with the new realities and demands of today.
Well, the good news is that business and digital transformation can ensure that remote workers, building owners, and employers can all win if they’re willing to adapt, be flexible, and have a beginner’s mind.
Employers will be able to keep hiring and retaining the best talent if they take on the challenge of committing to the organizational change required to manage and motivate a hybrid workforce.
Remote workers must ensure that the productivity gains that were witnessed throughout the pandemic were not an aberration, and their productivity will continue to increase as organizations truly embrace technology and digital transformation approaches.
Building owners will have to follow a similar script and adopt technology that is cloud-delivered and AI-enhanced so they can improve the tenant experience while lowering their overall operating costs.
For the uninitiated, the Smart Building movement that deploys connected sensors, software, machine learning, and artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize how campuses and facilities are managed and operated.
Take a company such as BrainBox AI who specializes in enhancing building heating & cooling efficiency by easily integrating with existing business management systems (BMS) and leveraging the inherent data supplied and turning it into actionable information.
They have crafted a solution that applies artificial intelligence to dynamically monitor and adjust thresholds allowing building owners to reduce overall energy costs by as much as 25% while improving occupant comfort by 60%.
Just as technology helped the world effectively deal with moving to a WFH environment – it will help alleviate the pain for many in adjusting to a hybrid work environment that have the needs of remote workers, employers, and building owners in balance so that in the end people are more fulfilled in their jobs, business results are improved, and the economic benefits of tenants can be realized.
In the end, it’s all about innovative thinking, business & digital transformation, and a willingness to apply the right technology to the right business problem, at the right time that will ensure a healthy recovery and sustained growth.