The Flexible Workspace Series: Part 3

30 December, 2019

Technology

Technology-enabled facilities have also been instrumental in transforming the commercial real estate industry1 as a whole and the office space in particular.  Amid the rise of smart homes and on-demand apps, employees increasingly expect a similarly connected experience at work and the benefits of Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence technologies are not limited to occupier experience and can raise operational efficiency and lower costs on the whole2.

Flexible workspace operators have the ability to routinely update and upgrade their technology, whilst the concern that built-in technologies in the conventional office space will become obsolete during the occupier’s tenancy remains, and a solution to this represents itself as a clear opportunity for the real estate industry.

However, at the same time, as JLL have highlighted3, cybersecurity and tenant data privacy are becoming top priorities.  The commercial real estate industry, with its access to a wider variety of personal data, is therefore becoming more exposed to cyber threats and which are increasingly real and pervasive4.  Concerns will therefore remain over security, confidentiality and privacy in more open environments found in flexible workspaces.  Conventional office space, however, enables an occupier to install their own infrastructure to safeguard against such risks and put in place policies and measures that allows them greater control over privacy and confidentiality in the workplace environment.

Embracing technology can bring a whole host of benefits to both landlords and occupiers of commercial workplaces; however, occupiers that use flexible workspace need to think carefully about the risks associated in working in such open environments.  Meanwhile, landlords in the conventional office market need to keep pace with technological innovation to ensure the integrated technology solutions they offer to their occupiers remain relevant to the dynamic nature of the way occupiers manage and operate their businesses and their workplaces.

Next week, the fourth and final part will conclude the Flexible Workspace Series.


1 (n7)

2 (n7)

3 JLL, ‘How flexible space is leading companies to re-think their real estate’, 9 November 2018 https://www.jll.co.uk/en/trends-and-insights/workplace/how-flexible-space-is-leading-companies-to-rethink-their-real-estate

4 (n7)