Guest Blog: The Future of Office Buildings is Touchless Technology (HqO)

This post was written by the team at HqO, the fastest growing tenant experience company.  HqO is known for its industry-leading technology, professional services team, TeX certification services, as well as a unique ecosystem of technology and amenity partners, including Touchland.


At HqO, we know that the future of commercial real estate (CRE) lies in creating building communities that offer real value to the workforce, not just a physical space. As creators of CRE’s only end-to-end operating system, we've seen a shift in value from focusing on office buildings themselves to a more customer-centric model through the tenant experience. 


While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, it has only accelerated this value-shift: tenant-focused functionalities such as a direct line of communication with building occupants and the ability to provide touchless office experiences like the hand sanitizer dispenser have become an absolute necessity due to modern health and safety regulations.


The truth is, workplaces are never going back to “normal”; technology is now an integral part of every aspect of the modern work experience. In order to welcome building occupants back to their offices safely and successfully, property teams need to quell any remaining fears and hesitations they may have in a post-pandemic landscape. How? By adapting their portfolios to accommodate additional tech-enabled features that allow tenants to steer clear of congested areas and communal surfaces, while also creating frictionless experiences that add value to the physical workplace by making them enjoyable and comfortable.

No longer a want, but a need

In our conversations with industry leaders and HqO tenants on what to expect in 2021,  a notable theme emerged: increased touchless experiences. Last year, we predicted the rise of IoT technologies and touchless experiences for the office. This year, we can verify that tenants are still looking for these capabilities, albeit due to new and unexpected health and safety protocols. 


We asked nearly 300 tenants whether they were comfortable with returning to the office and attending in-person events, and while  31.5% of tenant respondents expressed that they were, nearly half (46.9%) stated that they would only be comfortable attending outdoor events. These concerns from occupants are directly tied to a fear of the unknown: people are still questioning their comfort and safety in the aftermath of a pandemic. 


Financial decision-makers in office buildings are equally as concerned with the possible effects of the pandemic: data from JLL’s Global Workforce Survey & PwC’s COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey tell us that the number one concern for financial decision-makers is a new wave of infections, and 81% of CFOs plan to change their workplace safety requirements.


A large part of addressing lingering anxiety for building occupants, staff, and property teams involves leveraging proptech to address tenant sentiment. 

The key to safe and secure workplace experiences 

Throughout 2020, HqO has digitally launched our platform to tenants, asset managers, and property teams at over 100 assets. Taking what we have learned from these many experiences, we have tailored functionalities within our larger platform, HqOS, to provide touchless solutions focused on safety, communication, and engagement

Safety & Health

With the HqOS Capacity Manager, our clients can easily allow tenants to submit in-office requests, manage these requests through the operating system, and ensure compliance with building safety guidelines. Addressing the complex task of capacity management with a scalable, digital solution is key to solidifying confidence among your tenant base.


HqOS Marketplace partner Touchland offers an elevated, smart, and aesthetically designed hand sanitizer solution for commercial real estate owners who are focused on improving the health and safety of their tenants, while also creating a memorable office experience. The Kub and Kub Premium touchless sanitation solutions for commercial properties are maintained through IoT technology, and are the perfect solution for landlords that want to help tenants feel safe while maintaining their properties look and feel. 

Communication

The Tenant Experience Platform allows commercial property teams to customize an in-app Return to Work “spotlight” functionality for their tenants to view. This feature centralizes all building safety policy content such as elevator protocols, face covering advisories, and more. In addition, properties can directly communicate updates and alerts in a timely manner via this feature. Tuning tenants in to relevant office updates is a critical way to show that their well-being is a top priority.

Engagement

The HqOS Tenant Experience Platform centralizes tenant experience initiatives, property experiences, and building technologies into one application and easy-to-use desktop hub. As a touchless alternative to physical amenities, HqO global digital programming allows tenants to engage with remote and in-office office communities from wherever they are. There are countless ways to engage these communities through unique experiences such as virtual food drives, outdoor or on-demand fitness classes, and in-app tutorials and classes. 

Equip your office building with the needs of today 

If the commercial real estate industry is going to address every demand of the modern-day tenant experience, landlords and property teams must adopt touchless solutions. From seamless property technology integrations to on-site amenities that offer elevated sanitation options, property owners can channel renewed focus on the tenant experience from driveway to desk. 


To learn more about HqO and our best-in-class technology and services partners like Touchland, visit their website today.