Many people are reluctant to return to their offices. For some it’s fear and for others it’s the flexibility of working from home. One thing is certain, though: people will return and when they do, it will be a different environment than the one they left. The expectations for an office experience are changing and landlords are investing in new technology surrounding HVAC, space utilization, thermal cameras, communication and more. To keep the people in your building safe (and sane), all of this technology and data should be unified.
To unify technology, you need an operating system for your building. A single tool that can enable information sharing, communication and contactless features to create a touch-free, socially distant, and tech-enabled workplace.
But what does that contactless technology suite look like? We’re taking a closer look at the types of solutions many technology providers are offering, and how they can make a practical difference in your building on a daily basis not just through the end of COVID-19, but permanently.
Planning Your Back-to-Work Strategy: Do I Need Proptech?
It’s not enough to simply wait for new case numbers of COVID-19 to dwindle and re-enter the office based on whatever phase of re-immersion we’ve entered. Tenants will expect their buildings to take charge and implement changes and regulations to ensure the health and safety of those who enter every day. In our recent webinar featuring guests from CrowdComfort, Openpath and HqO, we polled attendees to understand their feelings toward reopening. Though the majority of attendees were still in the planning stages of reopening (67%), there was a clear demonstrated need for contactless features in order for attendees to feel safe returning to office buildings.
Approximately 58% of webinar guests noted that touchless access was most relevant, with increased sanitizer stations at a close second (54%). This feedback only reinforced our learnings from our previous webinar, where 47% of attendees noted their interest in access control over other vertical integrations. It’s clear that not only are technology providers recognizing this need, but professionals from all areas of the CRE industry as well.
As a company, we preach the importance of creating an unparalleled tenant experience throughout each and every work day, for everyone in your building. The software and other changes you invest in now will not only go toward creating a safe physical environment, but also one in which tenants and their employees will feel comfortable — and empowered — in their return to work.
“In the return to work, employee health and safety are top priorities for landlords,” said Chase Garbarino, HqO CEO and co-founder. “HqO’s array of features dramatically improve the experience of tenants by providing technology that allows them to feel safe to return, while providing valuable insights, all in one solution.”
Commercial real estate needs to begin investing in changes to their assets immediately to be ahead of the curve and prepared for when tenants return at full capacity. Part of the tenant experience now includes the technology and procedures that adapt your building to the “new normal.”
And make no mistake: these are no longer a nice to have, they’re a need to have.
How Contactless Solutions Can Help Mitigate Reopening Concerns
Here’s a closer look at how several HqO partners in proptech can assist the commercial real estate community with their return-to-work needs.
Keep office trips safe and efficient through consistent communication of critical information to tenants and building communities such as entrance or building closures, building schedule changes, health and safety updates, or new traffic flow through the building.
Access Control Systems
Reduce contact and manage congestion in high-traffic areas with touchless Access Control that allows tenants to enter buildings without ever having to touch a turnstile. To take it a layer deeper, role-based access control is a solution that can restrict access to certain users — a solution that ensures even if someone comes to work sick, they can’t access things like elevators, office doors, or even the building itself. HqO partner capabilities, such as Openpath’s “wave to unlock” feature, allow for easy, contactless access to elevators, offices, bathrooms, and more while keeping your hands free.
Account for all variables such as building visitors with seamless Guest Registration. Prior to entering the building, guests can be required to complete a digital health screening checklist. By doing so ahead of time, registered guests can check-in quickly upon arrival and access the building without adding lingering congestion to a lobby or touching any surfaces like a pen and desk. HqO Marketplace partners like Soloinsight, Proxyclick, and Traction Guest all add convenience and safety checks to your day through these solutions.
Online or Mobile Resource Booking
Electronically book on-site resources using HqO’s native features with electronic document management. Building occupants can reserve amenities ahead of time, and digitally sign waivers or other forms in a streamlined experience that requires zero in-person contact through partners like DocuSign.
Allow employees to book and pay for on-site appointments digitally with electronic services booking. Tenants can reserve fitness classes, bike servicing, or telehealth appointments without person-to-person contact using the native HqO technology built into their building app and partners like MindBody, Fitspot, and LISA App.
Mobile Work Orders and Facilities Maintenance
Solve property issues and streamline building operations with virtual work order requests and property management tools. Without the need for in-person communication, tenants can report maintenance or other issues such as room cleaning and temperatures with a partner like Angus Systems.
Online Food Ordering and Mobile Order Ahead
Online ordering in general has been the star of COVID-19 lockdowns, but online food ordering is poised to remain king when we get back to work. Manage waiting area congestion and reignite local retail with contactless food ordering and contactless payment that allows tenants to order, pay, and pick up their food seamlessly using the HqOS Tenant App as well as partner integrations with tech providers like Ritual and Minnow. Further mitigate risk and support social distancing measures by connecting with your neighborhood community and enabling food delivery from local, off-site restaurants.
Create A Contactless Back-to-Work Strategy
As we’ve now seen, going back to work is not just about finding the best forehead thermometer or adding biometric screenings. Why? Because the psychological component plays just as much a factor as the physical additions and changes to your commercial office building.
In other words: tenants and building occupants need to feel safe, not just be safe. But if you can do this, you’ll likely be rewarded for providing an excellent tenant experience through long-term loyalty and trust.
When you invest in an operating system, including a tenant experience building app like HqO, you’re able to unite all of your building’s technologies in one centralized location for tenants. By centralizing your technology, you create a seamless tenant experience and can address all tenant concerns with data-driven solutions tailored to each of your assets’ unique needs. Don’t wait — take action now with a cohesive, data-driven approach in order to drive your back-to-work planning and execution.