If you know HqO, you know that enhancing physical office spaces with digital experiences is our bread and butter — we help people to love where they work. We have long stressed that creating a community in the workplace requires a tenant-first approach, and while the recent global health pandemic has changed a lot, it does not change this fact.
Now that there is a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, property teams and tenant employers will be more comfortable starting to execute their return to work strategies. Employees may also be more comfortable with the idea of working in-person than at the start of the pandemic, when there were many more unknown variables. However, since the distribution of an effective vaccine will occur in phases, digital building engagement programs will still be necessary during the transition and beyond.
While property teams are focused on the challenge of returning tenants safely back to work when the time comes, there is a real need to bridge the gap between physical and digital office experiences today. Establishing omnichannel experiences while many employees are still outside of the office is key to strengthening building communities during this transition.
How HqOS can foster your remote community
HqOS™, the end-to-end tenant experience operating system for office buildings, fulfills key areas of focus that are central to maintaining building communities amidst the return to work. When we gauged feelings on returning to work last summer in the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns, 50% of employees were comfortable returning while 50% were not.
According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, 15% of executives surveyed amid the pandemic indicated at least one-tenth of their employees could work remotely two or more days a week going forward, almost double the 8% of respondents who expressed that intention before the pandemic.
Though many tenants miss real engagement with colleagues (92%), workplace culture (42%), and amenities (42%), it’s clear that tenants may opt to remain remote during the return to work process for various reasons. With this in mind, the HqOS Tenant Experience Platform will play a critical role in all building-related updates. As we highlighted in our Back-to-Work Kit, tenants will still expect frequent updates. Having a go-to informational resource will be key.
However, it’s become clearer that teams who channel renewed effort into maintaining connections with their tenants will be the most successful in the market. Fostering a building community through a dedicated tenant app not only adds value to your assets, but also drives loyalty and tenant retention in the long-term. Crisis or not, tenants will continue to “long to belong.” As your property teams seek to remain in contact with tenants and continue to drive value to your properties, it will be key to acknowledge tenant’s humanity.
Until a large percentage of your tenant population returns, a tenant experience platform can initiate a focus on virtual programming, helping to bridge the gap between digital and physical experiences. As tenants gradually return, digital programming can seamlessly be phased into in-person events.
How our clients are actively engaging
Don’t just take it from us. Here are some examples of our clients that have seen close to regular engagement levels with virtual tenant programming at this time.
After temporarily closing their retail spaces at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Jamestown’s team has been a terrific example of how to truly connect with retail tenants and support them throughout the pandemic. Some examples of in-app content they featured include: online sales and providing a discount code via the app, streaming live yoga and meditation courses, cocktail of the day suggestions and bouquet deliveries.
In our recent Swig Company case study, we looked at their approach to leveraging tenant experience technology in three Bay Area, CA office buildings. Swig sought to expand upon their existing tenant programming in a way that was meaningful and adaptable with the pandemic restrictions — placing emphasis on their return to the workplace, corporate social responsibility efforts, and sustainability initiatives.
The Swig team not only elevated their new tenant engagement platform h3experiences, but they received the following positive tenant feedback for their efforts:
- Over 50% of app users have been actively engaged month-to-month.
- Events programming, such as free chair massages and smoothies, has received the most engagement and clicks in the app (reaching as high as 81% of app users in the 501 Second Street building).
- Digital content also ranks highly, with over 60% of registered 444 Castro Street app users staying engaged with the feature since the pandemic.
Though some of the HqO team is still working remotely and not yet back to our office in Downtown Boston’s The Hive, we’ve still been able to create engaging programming via the Hive app for our entire building community to enjoy.
Following one of our in-app challenges, our team received this feedback from tenants that participated in daily in-app challenges:
- “THANK YOU!!! This has given me something fun to do all week – thank you for that!”
- “THANK YOU!!!! More than anything, it was fun to do while I feel in exile.”
CRE landlords: don’t wait.
In a recent piece, Colliers International projected that the integration of wellness-focused ways of working will accelerate as the norm in the wake of COVID-19. As Colliers pinpoints, it’s become clear that maintaining connectivity and continuity are essential for your remote community, and having an operating system for your building holds a key role in this.
In facilitating efficient communications, logistics, and prioritizing health and safety, the HqOS Tenant Experience Platform will help you revolutionize your business and facilitate this sense of community, whether in-person or remotely. By centralizing key property experiences and technologies into one application, owners and property teams can deliver rich experiences, reduce friction, and create a strong connection with their tenants driven by real-time data from tenants.
Ready to learn more about how to strengthen your remote communities? Click here to check out HqO’s Omnichannel Office eBook today!