Technology mobility is changing the way companies, tenants and building owners think about how the workplace can elevate the tenant experience and create an agile workplace.
Today’s workforce can operate beyond the confines of the traditional four-walled office space. They’re empowered through concepts such as “free-addressing” to move around their workplace environment and even remain engaged from afar through a combination of smartphone and robotic technologies.
"Your office is now on your phone. It’s on your tablet. It’s on your laptop. You aren’t tethered to the same desk or that same office every day,”
The percentage of people who work remotely has grown in recent years, from 39 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2016, per Gallup. Additionally, 60 percent of companies now offer their employees telecommuting opportunities, a threefold increase from 1996.
This has been driven by technology that has provided all of us an “untapped and enormous amount of freedom,” says Andrew Kupiec, global president, CBRE 360.
Companies are now looking for environments that factor in productivity, connectivity and efficiency into their design. For building owners, this means creating workspaces that are flexible and amenity-rich.
“To me, what mobility in the workplace really means is that your office is now on your phone. It’s on your tablet. It’s on your laptop. You aren’t tethered to the same desk or that same office every day,” Kupiec adds.
The challenge for companies now, says Kupiec, is to create an office environment that can foster social collaboration, provide an enriching work experience and transform the workplace into a destination of choice.
“Ultimately companies want to create workplaces that attract talent and put the needs of their employees at the center of design,” he adds.
This year, Kupiec and CBRE unveiled CBRE 360, a new global capability that focuses on delivering enhanced employee experiences in the workplace by integrating property services and amenities with advanced digital technology.
“CBRE 360 is the technology and experience services layer for the employer and for the building to bring those experiences to life. Booking conference rooms, navigating workspaces, being able to find your colleagues—all of these are important elements of a dispersed mobile workforce,” says Kupiec.
THE RISE OF TECHNOLOGY MOBILITY IN THE WORKPLACE
A vast majority of Americans, 77 percent to be exact, owned a smartphone in 2016, per the Pew Research Center. This mobile technology is offering users new ways to tailor their personal and work lives to maximize productivity and experience.
“Mobility cuts across so many aspects of our lives. Humans are designed to move around, and interact with and experience new places, new environments and new people,” says Kupiec.
Kupiec adds that it is not the smartphone but the service itself—the ride-share app, the online grocery, the food delivery application—that facilitates this mobility.
“A great service that has a great interface to the user answers this simple question: How do you design a holistic offering around that person, around that individual?” Kupiec says.
The power of that interface, says Kupiec, is not what the user sees throughout the customer experience, but rather the network of many operations teams that collectively work, sight-unseen, in delivering this bespoke mobile experience.
“Tech-enabled transportation like Zipcar, Uber and Lyft are highly complex operational companies that most users never see,” says Kupiec, who before CBRE led North American operations for Zipcar.
The front end of this experience, powered by well-designed mobile apps, is centered around the goal of seamlessly seeing the end-user get through their tasks, such as booking a car or a taxi.
“Those businesses have been successful because they were designed with the user in mind first, not the car or the parking space,” Kupiec adds.
As the dispersed mobile workforce will continue to grow over the years, says Kupiec, enhancing the office space with thoughtful experiences will help attract the right talent.
Says Kupiec: “We’re focused on building personalized tech-enabled experiences in the workplace where we anticipate your needs through understanding data, and make your day better at work by connecting all types of amenities and experiences that today are very fragmented. The app, data layer and our on-site hospitality service teams all work in harmony to deliver a memorable experience in the office.”