The Enhanced Occupant Experience – Taking Buildings to the Next Level!
Companies today are under constant pressure to create competitive advantage in their respective markets, and that competitiveness extends to their unique company brand and culture. Efforts to create the 'ideal workplace' have given rise to the experiential phenomenon for visitors and employees.
In the same way that consumers now expect technology to offer a seamless, enhanced shopping or entertainment experience, employees seek out companies that can offer a digital workplace that responds to their needs and perhaps even anticipates them while promoting productive work activities. There are now a host of technologies that we can use to manage, monitor, analyze and improve on experience initiatives.
This is a relatively new concept, which began with the idea of allowing building occupants to take more control of their building by making micro-adjustments to room temperature using an app on their mobile phones. The other big driver was mobile user management of meeting/conference room bookings.
As these early mobile applications became more common, they effectively put more power in the hands of the occupant, such as digitally reporting maintenance issues from their mobile phone and other similar tasks. From that beginning, it was a short leap to the creativity we see now around developing applications; suites of services and functions that enhance that occupant experience in unanticipated ways.
From a technology standpoint, a lot of the experience phenomenon crosses the lines between design (both architectural and interior design) and the technologies to support experience (UX/UI, integration strategy, etc.). This is because there's just no way you're going to have a good experience in a traditional cubicle office, no matter what you put there; it is the same with outdated analog business processes.
Organizational initiatives in Experience Design and Design Thinking are helping companies understand the nuance of the experiences they are trying to create and to really understand, at a very granular level, peoples' needs and desires. The big data analytics from the sensors and other technologies to monitor occupants' behavior have increased our knowledge in a measurable way about user preferences and behavior patterns.
Some of the major elements of experience still draw on timeless architectural efforts to design a space that is welcoming to human sensibilities: the orientation of the building, the use of natural light and landscape to bring nature in and comfortable furniture that is not only functional but conducive to collaboration and creativity. The technology basics are of course a must, such as very reliable WiFi and cellular for uninterrupted service. Additionally, privacy spaces and designated quiet areas are important.
New technology continues to improve on these ideas by making the visitor and employee experience immersive, intuitive and interactive.
For example, the 151 Franklin building in Chicago has a mobile app that offers an interesting amenity. From a pre-set geofence, the tenant platform recognizes you when you're within 400 yards of the building. It then tees up the building application without the need to unlock the phone or log in, and as you enter, you simply swipe your phone at the turnstile to get immediate access and requisition the destination dispatch elevator. In the near future, the app will start conditioning your office area. It creates a feeling that the building is aware, welcoming and anticipating your presence.
At the eBay Main Street corporate headquarters, digital visual media start incrementally as you enter the building, with columns that light up with information, to interactive touchscreens and on to a huge custom display in the largest auditorium. "We are reinventing our brand, we are reinventing our culture, and it's so important to have a physical manifestation of that. It's how we show up to our community," said Lars Kongshem, Director of the Corporate Digital Experience at eBay.
Many other large corporate players are leading the way in providing the best work environments available today. They include LinkedIn, Salesforce, ExxonMobil, Google, Aruba, Facebook, Microsoft, CBRE Workplace360, McDonald’s and others.
Designing this type of workplace requires the platform for the digital experience as well as facility operations. Many feature stunning visual displays and media that share interactive information about usage, amenities and operations data. Robust network infrastructure to handle telecom and collaborative technologies are needed, as well as to handle access and environmental control, and all the inherent sustainability and cost-saving measures. The graphic below lists some of the potential platform functions:
In essence, the way a building interacts with you in an inspiring, engaging way creates a feeling of ease, kinship and belonging. Responsiveness and anticipation of needs will be a given. Valuable time is freed up from mundane tasks like monitoring and managing meeting room bookings, and instead used to creatively engage with peers and for strategy planning for the business. The physical building or campus becomes the immersive digital workplace, a healthier, more profitable place for the humans who work there.
The fundamentals on digital transformation and evolution, including workplace experience, and other industry top of mind topics, will be discussed at Realcomm | IBcon 2019. The conferences will be held in Nashville, TN on June 13 & 14. (Pre-Con, Golf and Tech Tours June 11-12). Register early and save!
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RealFoundations is a global professional services firm focused on helping companies that develop, build, own, operate, service, occupy or invest in real estate make smarter, more profitable decisions. From the building itself to the way it’s developed, operated and capitalized, no firm understands the inner workings of the entire real estate ecosystem as well as RealFoundations. We Make Real Estate Run Better.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE & Technology – The Importance of Developing a STRATEGY - 9/19/2019
It wasn’t long ago that a Commercial Real Estate CIO was responsible only for functions such as networking, file and print servers, computer hardware, desktop applications and e-mail. Over the last 5+ years other responsibilities have entered the sphere of the CIO including marketing, operations (smart buildings), occupant experience and cybersecurity, to name a few. Additionally, emerging technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, AR/VR, autonomous, robotics and others are impacting their world as well as their clients. Never before has it been so important for a Real Estate CIO to develop a comprehensive digital strategy, encompassing all aspects of the organization. This webinar will focus on the importance of developing a comprehensive digital strategy.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Ilan Zachar is currently Chief Technology Officer at Carr Properties, a privately held REIT known for its portfolio of trophy-quality properties in the Washington D.C. In this role, Ilan leverages vision and foresight to cross-pollinate best practices, processes, systems and resources across corporate operations/affiliates. Under his leadership, this has resulted in improvements in bottom-line costs, top-line business growth/scalability, operational sustainability and high performance and overall, strengthening his company’s role as a market leader. For over 20 years, Ilan has been executive business leader and innovative technology strategist for multinational real-estate and property development companies worldwide.
Sineesh Keshav is the Chief Technology Officer at Prologis. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the technology strategy and is responsible for leading the company’s global data and digital transformation. Since joining Prologis in 2018, Sineesh and his team have been focused on a capability driven, customer-centric approach to innovation and digitalization.
With over 24 years of experience in real estate, Kevin's expertise encompasses enterprise IT design, integration and ecological adaptation, helping his clients deriving ongoing value by improving their manageability, effectiveness and ongoing efficiencies. Prior to joining RealFoundations, Kevin served as a CIO for a large-NY owner operator and as a SVP of IT for an Ohio based REIT overseeing the strategic planning, enterprise architecture and information architectures.
Mike Salazar has extensive experience in consulting and sales with Enterprise companies, regarding strategic cross function technology, mainly focused on IoT and AI platforms. Named Star on the Rise by Security Industry Association in 2016, he is currently the Practice Director for Smart Buildings at HID Global. Through innovative solutions he helps organizations unlock value and realize business intelligence. Honored to call many of the most notable companies of our time happy customers.
Dharmendra is the Industry Principal at Yardi Systems. Dhar’s well-rounded and practical background in the industry includes experience as a software vendor, consultant and customer. Prior to Yardi Systems, he was the Vice President of Revenue Management and Analytics for Denver-based Apartment Investment and Management Co. (AIMCO), one of the largest multifamily REITs in the U.S., where he led the development and implementation of revenue management and business intelligence systems.
Malcolm Hobbs is VP of Marketing and Market Development at Join. Malcolm has extensive startup and enterprise marketing and business development experience in markets including SaaS, Industrial IoT, Analytics and Sustainability. At Join, he is helping to redefine how owners secure their buildings from digital threats and deliver advanced digital workplace services in today's tech-forward buildings.