The Role of Technology in Offices of the Future

Especially during this pandemic, technology has been a vital lifeline to the outside world. It has done everything from keeping us connected with colleagues, to enabling us to convert typically in-person large-scale events into virtual ones. Tech supports our daily lives, too – from ordering products on-demand to our front door, to helping us manage our health and fitness, and even controlling our home environments.

From a design perspective, technology enables us to create different zones in our commercial interiors at the click of a button.  All at once, we can conceive of a project or huddle

Post-pandemic – because there is a light at the end of the tunnel! – there will be a trend toward what was formerly considered “emerging technologies” coming to the fore that will support (1) employees’ need to feel safe in their environments, and (2) organizations’ need to support the workplace of the future when it comes to real estate optimization and just-in-time booking systems.

For example, a fast adopter will leverage technology to enable data-driven real estate strategy that optimize their footprint with the use of processes that may employ a virtual concierge and desk / meeting room and locker booking systems. They will also create a healthy workplace environment that supports touch-free solutions (e.g., doors, faucets and fixtures), and contact tracing will also become a part of an organization’s ongoing operating procedure.  According to CBRE’s “Future of the Office” report, pre-COVID 43% of organizations anticipated a more sharing environment.  In September of 2020, that percentage jumped to 83%, proving that the need for app-based technology has grown and is here.

Leveraging technology as an enabler, the following are just some of the ways technology may help open our offices in a secure and safe way when we are given the go-ahead:

  • Smartphones as a multi-function device facilitating a work-from-anywhere concept
  • Predictable parking when we are able to pre-book spaces remotely
  • An app allowing us to check the availability of electric vehicle charge points
  • Touch-free access into office buildings
  • Reservation of appropriate workspaces and break-out spaces with low density of users in the office through 3D mapping to secure seating in a reliable way
  • Record of where, when and who is in the building
  • Efficient collaboration technologies to foster seamless conversations both on-site and at home
  • Intelligent LED lighting technology to reduce energy output; detects movements that also mimics natural light patterns to regulate workers’ circadian rhythms
  • The design of buildings with net-zero carbon emission, low water consumption and negative ecological impacts
  • The introduction of digitally intelligent workers(robots) to take over workplace security, safety and other menial tasks
  • Sensors to measure data for temperature, humidity, CO2, VOC, and sound levels that are displayed on common area digital wellness dashboards, promoting a culture of care and wellness

The workplace of the future will inevitably be driven by people and fueled by technology. It is therefore incumbent on the Management team to provide their people with not only the right environment for their people, but the best available tools and technology so that staff can be efficient and productive, knowing that their Executives consider their safety a high corporate priority.

It is for these reasons that the office design process at Mayhew always begins by identifying the needs of you, our client and collaborating to develop a brief that highlights your needs and what is required (including technology) to create as productive, safe and secure a space as possible for your most important asset – your people.

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About Mayhew:

Mayhew specializes in office interior design and workplace branding. We work with our clients to maximize their investment in technology, process and people by leveraging their investment in space. Combining smart workspace planning with the right office furniture will contribute directly to your business results.