Technology & Workflow Drives Return-to-Work Models for Tenants

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The Counselors of Real Estate Says Many Technologies are Transitioning from “Nice to Have” to “Mandatory.”

"This is a war, but with peace dividends everywhere.”

Amidst the pandemic, there is an urgent call for technology to better monitor, manage, and mitigate risks. The combination of migration back to the office, the need for reconfiguration and change in operating methods, and the general desire for working remotely, is accelerating the adoption of technology in the built environment. It is for these reasons technology and workflow is ranked eighth on The Counselors of Real Estate’s 2020-21 Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate.®

“Transparency in operations is important,” said Michel Couillard, CRE, global chair of The Counselors of Real Estate. “Social media and the rapid propagation of information and rumor mean that the demand for information about safety is at a peak. Returning tenants, shoppers, guests and contractors expect new property management procedures that inspire confidence in safety.” Couillard says many technologies are transitioning from “nice to have” to “mandatory.” These include tracking of people in buildings; contactless doors and elevators; air and water quality monitoring; airflow and recirculation control; mandatory remote building services; and health screenings for contractors and facility staff.

“Necessity is moving the industry to better and smarter buildings and operations,” added Couillard. “Forced adoption of web meetings, safety standards, privacy and collaboration tools, and cyber security have brought the benefits of technology to even the most resistant users. Changes in density, use patterns, meeting frequency, and movement are well underway. The result will be spaces that are safer, more efficient, and better prepared for the next big surprise as property owners and managers create confidence for tenants, residents, and shoppers. This is a war, but with peace dividends everywhere.”

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R J Sirois
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