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5 Things We're Watching as CRE Returns to the Workplace

Posted by RealNex on Aug 30, 2021 9:00:00 AM

After over a year of managing operations for remote teams working from home, we’re finally starting to head back to work. Today’s re-entry is sparking new trends that impact both our physical buildings and the people that work in them. 

Here’s a list of what we’re watching as CRE’s office scene tackles re-entry. 

#1. Hybrid Work Environments Powered by PropTech

Getting everyone back into work is a complicated process. Companies are adopting new hybrid work models to help organize a cohesive re-entry plan that accommodates the wants and needs of their team members. 

Today’s offices are now a center-point for hybrid teams, some working on-site and some working remotely. Digital PropTech tools and project management platforms are supporting collaboration within dispersed teams, streamlining their workflows, and embracing greater flexibility.

#2. Strong Focus on Team Wellness

Increased consideration for employee wellbeing is crucial for successful re-entry plans. Companies are launching new programs that demonstrate their commitment to helping their team members stay healthy, happy, and productive. After research showed that mental health issues were on the rise during the pandemic, many companies are building robust networks of mental and emotional health resources for their team members. 

Offices are also helping support the wellness of their teams by strengthening corporate culture and even providing wearable technologies to monitor employees’ health status. 

#3. Office Redesign Attracting Workers Back 

The physical office buildings are being upgraded to entice workers back into the workspace. Today’s office redesign projects are creating interior spaces that engage teams and support them in their work. 

New and exciting designs that meet the needs of diverse teams go beyond clean air quality and natural lighting. Successful office designs need to be responsive to the specific and unique needs of those that occupy the building. This is leading to increased collaboration between property operators and the teams that work in their assets. 

#4. Deploying Tech Tools to Help with Operations 

Tech-driven AI tools are helping manage the hybrid operations that are changing the way teams occupy the office. AI tools are collecting data about how teams are actually engaging with their workspaces and using it to create strategies to best allocate resources. 

Occupancy, space requirements, and building operations are a few of the main aspects of re-entry being managed by AI.

#5. Keeping Clean to Keep Everyone Safe

New standards for cleaning and sanitation are helping teams stay safe and healthy while everyone comes back to the office. Beyond the “new normal” of touchless tech that limits cross-contamination and exposure, some offices are deploying robots to sanitize high-traffic areas with liquid disinfectants and UV light. 

Cleaning schedules are also being reconsidered to best handle the increase in occupancy as vacant offices begin welcoming employees back. Companies are establishing new cleaning protocols to help teams feel comfortable about re-entry. 

It’s key for companies and commercial property operators to remember both the tech and human components of re-entry. These five trends will be helping offices meet the new challenges associated with getting everyone back to work. 

Keep up with this topic and more commercial real estate news with the RealNex Blog.

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