How Market Shifts, Energy Goals and More Capable Sensors Are Shaping the Future of Workspaces

Written by Jeff Bennett, President and COO

The future of workplace environments will be rooted in smart choices that allow people to work happily, easily, and more efficiently, driven by real-time data insights. Instead of employees questioning whether they should come into the office today, they’ll be inspired by the benefits the workplace offers and the defined sense of purpose that uniquely defines the experience. 

Critical to defining this future is a full understanding of how, why, and when people work and what they do when they gather in one location. This knowledge is especially crucial to corporate real estate, facilities managers, and workplace leaders, who need to know how their buildings are operating and being used while ensuring their workers and occupants are well-tended.  

To accomplish this goal, the entire smart workplace and building information chain will increasingly depend on accurate, timely, and secure data sourced from diverse types of occupancy sensors and inputs. The resulting insights will inform and define a variety of trends – ranging from market shifts to evolving workspace preferences, integrated sensors, and the ways in which companies are advancing their goals of sustainability and carbon neutrality. 

Occupancy data is essential to any energy efficiency strategy 

Businesses are increasingly pressured to evaluate and adjust their property portfolios amid economic and environmental concerns. At the same time, carbon-neutral goals are becoming increasingly important to businesses as both regulators and consumers seek sustainability. 

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act is also encouraging businesses to take carbon neutrality more seriously, with Local Law 97 requiring all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to “meet ambitious carbon reduction targets.” In order to keep up with regulations, achieve energy savings and remain compliant, businesses will need to determine when, where and to what degree office spaces are being occupied. The results are essential in any plan to optimally manage energy efficiency. 

Workplace patterns, and subsequently workspace usage, remain less predictable than in the past. Consequently, businesses that rely on traditional rule-based models will yield less effective results versus organizations that embrace and utilize real-time monitoring and automated operations. Sensor technology can help businesses achieve their goals by capturing the pulse of day-to-day building functions, which aids in critical decisions and provides seamless occupant experiences. 

Businesses need to build workspaces that foster productivity 

For all the hype surrounding the future of work, many organizations have maintained full or partially- remote working policies, which are largely preferred by employees. But as the Great Resignation continues, the battle for talent is driving an interest in digital experiences – and the fight for tenants is doing the same. 

Digital experiences may include touchless entry points and other ways to interact without making physical contact. On the employer side, organizations need more targeted information to navigate volatile return-to-office trends and to design their ideal future work environments.  

However, the ideal work environment is not a one-size-fits-all creation. Businesses need the right workplace technology, and the resulting occupancy data insights, to best determine their employees’ workplace preferences. That information is also vital in helping organizations determine how to create workspaces that foster productivity and meet employees’ changing needs, and where to prioritize their investments in workspaces, experiences and culture benefits based in insights rooted in actual behaviors. 

Achieve greater productivity and energy efficiency 

As workplace arrangements continue to evolve, organization and employee experiences are taking center stage. Businesses have come to recognize the need to design environments that foster greater employee productivity and satisfaction, while also carving out the essential purpose – disassociated from the physical place – that the office holds in their lives. 

Businesses are quickly realizing that, by relying on the latest sensor technology, they can better analyze occupant engagement and linger time within discrete spaces. Advances in sensor technology also make it possible to collect granular data on preferences for furniture type and placement, allowing for maximum customization – and supreme occupant appeal – within workspaces. The result is increased employee satisfaction, heightened productivity, and improved energy efficiency. 

About the Author

Jeff Bennett, President and COO

Jeff is an accomplished executive leader with a 20-year track record for delivering repeatable and scaleable methodologies across all departments of an organization so that ambitious corporate objectives are attainable and highly strategic business challenges can be solved.  As the Chief Operating Officer at Relogix, Jeff is accountable for ensuring that all aspects of the business are aligned and structured to achieve market success by ensuring the customer is at the center of everything we do.  Jeff is also an executive mentor with Invest Ottawa and coaches leaders in many startup technology companies. Prior to Relogix, Jeff was the Founder and Executive Consultant at ServiceVantage Corporation where for more than 13 years, he worked with the executive teams of over 40 companies to develop, improve and scale their operations and customer experience groups. Jeff has held senior executive positions for companies such as Marketwired, 360Incentives, and Phreesia.