Space as a service

It’s 9am. You’ve just arrived at your desk. Another 8 hours (more many more) of the daily grind. Many of us think of our workplaces as just that – the places we work. Now, though, a shift in the landlord/occupier relationship is taking place and its redefining our workspaces as integrated hubs for wellness, productivity, innovation and social connections.

11 Nov 2019

By Rohini Saluja

Space as a service

It’s 9am. You’ve just arrived at your desk. Another 8 hours (more many more) of the daily grind. Many of us think of our workplaces as just that – the places we work. Now, though, a shift in the landlord/occupier relationship is taking place and its redefining our workspaces as integrated hubs for wellness, productivity, innovation and social connections.

Our workforces are more mobile than ever. Whilst freelancing arrangements are not as common in Asia Pacific as in North America, the underlying mobility and idea of borderless teams is weaving itself into organizational structures. Whilst a building’s specifications, location and price are still critical in driving appeal, landlords in this region have had to rethink their asset management strategies and place a greater emphasis on building amenities, wellness, and digital experiences. Whilst landlords were traditionally mere space providers, they are now service providers in pursuit of a larger goal – improving occupants’ quality of lives and keeping them engaged.

Business lifecycles are more unpredictable. An obvious implication stemming from this is headcount uncertainty. This, coupled with a workforce composition made up of more millennials has forced companies and the landlords who house them to bring talent attraction and retention further up their list of priorities. How can landlords be more resilient in the face of an easily disengaged workforce? The answer lies in a multi-pronged approach – focus on building a sense of community and environment conducive to healthy social and professional relationships, e.g. provision of communal dining areas and rooftops, seek ways to enhance employees’ wellbeing, e.g. providing gym and recreational facilities as well as “greening” the building through natural lighting, and capitalize on technology.

Another avenue in which landlords can align their assets with the organisational and cultural developments taking place is by combining a hybrid of both traditional core and flex office spaces to tenants. To capitalize on tenants whose entire businesses or business lines may not require long term leases, flexible and turn-key solutions can be offered – increasing the exposure of the landlord to a larger tenant base as potential occupiers. Again, whichever the lease agreement – the employee experience will be pivotal to the sustainability of that lease and landlords should utilize this as a means to enhance employee productivity and satisfaction.

No conversation about the future workspace is complete without paying heed to technology. Today, there are digital solutions which can be leveraged to create customized solutions for occupiers – allowing them to manage their amenities and building management requirements at their fingertips. Be it booking a meeting room via a smartphone app or utilizing data-driven insights to aide workplace design and ascertain what preventative facilities management measures need to be adopted, technology will be in instrumental in activating value in the future workplace.

Buildings aren’t only aligning with evolving technologies, business uncertainties and shrinking organisational lifespans but also the cultural shifts which lie beneath these developments. The workplace of the future has one endeavour – to be an integrated workplace.

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