Albert Einstein once mused that “if at first an idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.” Throwing caution to the wind (with appropriate restraint) and discovering transformative new ways of doing things is the only way forward in the workplace of the future.
Our CEO Gabrielle McMillan agrees, and recently posed an interesting question: “What if more sought-after services were provided by the building owner or the building manager, and consumed holistically by the tenant, rather than the tenant having to invest energy and resources into organising their own services?”
Herein lies a very interesting value proposition – one sure to unlock additional value for both ends of the real estate equation. Folding the costs of employee comforts into the rent unlocks what Gabrielle calls an “experience-led, human-led, people-oriented way of managing buildings”. In other words: an innovative future of work set to welcome unprecedented business benefits (and one we’re more than willing to partake in).
After all, as HR specialist Natasha Mascarenhas once mused, “we are only as good as our people.” The future is founded on tenant engagement, and these 5 examples of innovation in the workplace show us how:
The working experience was often confined to a cubicle, but recent years have welcomed a breakout from compartmentalised environments as hot-desking trends appeared. We’ve knocked down walls in favour of open office building of the future and embraced mobility – instigating innovations in architecture, interior design and office behaviours.
Why this preference for constant inconsistency? Unassigned desks encourage: mingling with previously-segregated colleagues, refreshing changes of scenery and a general sense of vitality and freedom. Unchaining employees from their desks also enables remote work when needed. In fact, studies show that almost half of workers have left or would leave a job if it didn’t afford them the flexibility to work from home.
Other studies show that even back in 2014, more than 72% of businesses who’d moved to co-working spaces were forecasting increases in revenue and productivity. By way of example, the Genesis Housing Association (UK) opted to engage a flexible working environment, and saw their accommodation costs drop by up to £1billion year on year.
There is an increasing acknowledgement from the property community that they need to be implementing technology: in order to stay relevant, better connect with their customers, and maximise a higher yield from flexible spaces.
Technological offerings include those like Equiem. In the same way that intranets enable clear and free communication within immediate business circles, macro solutions that connect disparate companies are an effective engagement tool: with Equiem, landowners can increase value for their tenants and building managers through exclusive services, amenities and the curation of a customised online platform.
Equiem was, in essence, a micro-intranet built to service Lorenz Grollo’s Rialto tower in Melbourne – custom-designed to meet its needs with a platform that fostered tenant engagement and helped bring the 25-year-old building back to competitive relevance.
Other technological advances include network, software and mobile device innovation to enable mobility and remote work. And in the current era of technological innovation, anything is possible. But while we’re in favour of experimenting, technology has to be safe, secure and properly maintained. And Gabrielle reiterates that “the best technology is invisible. There's no friction. It just works. And makes our lives easier each day.”
In any large-scale working environment, empty space has the potential to add value through activations, breakouts, meetings and recreation. And with attempts to fold tenant engagement costs into rent, using vacant spaces innovatively is a relative no-brainer to improve value propositions for both workplaces and properties.
Music rooms, exercise spaces, meditation or “chill” zones and end of trip facilities are all popular ways to repurpose unused areas for greater employee satisfaction and workplaces health. Skype’s Californian headquarters are a prime example using space to improve employee satisfaction, boasting minimalist chill zones and a kitted-out game room (foosball table included).
And Equiem's Spaces product – a feature on our Portals – helps landlords to expand this into their own buildings, enabling them to put vacant offices up for rent, like "an AirBnB for meeting rooms." Tenants can host events, organise activations and make any short-term extensions a reality with ease.
Employees (driven by an insurgence of millennials) have renewed demands about work-life balance. These expectations have driven innovation in both physical structures and processes in traditional working practices.
End of trip facilities are seemingly compulsory, enabling employees to ride to work or partake in physical activities within their work day. Extended vacations, flexible working hours and even in-house services like free yoga classes, exercise classes or lunchtime running groups.
In partnership with Bupa, Australian real estate giant Investa recently launched their holistic wellbeing program - offering both physical activations (meditation classes and nutrition consultations) and online resources via their Equiem-run Insite Portal (information, advice and assessments).
While all this innovation is great, it has little meaning if we don’t understand the people it affects. Data capture is a key driver for landlords and business leaders in terms gauging feedback from tenants and employees, as well as learning simple previous unknowns: who works in the building, where they come from and how many of them there are.
Physical means of collecting data, as well as technological platforms like Equiem, provide access to this valuable data, and allow businesses and buildings to make informed decisions. Equiem's new "Cortex" app is sort of like a Google Analytics tool for buildings – helping property owners understand tenant behaviour with ease.
In the UK, Network Rail implemented straightforward data collection strategies to assess employee wellbeing and track mental health. With confidential online assessments (which more than 20% of staff participated in), leaders could detect stress amongst teams and then develop programmes to address the issues at hand.
Innovative workplace solutions are about people rather than bricks and mortar – and about finding ways to extract value for the landlord by driving deeper connections and a better experience for all involved.
Equiem’s main mission is to help buildings and organisations harness the benefits of community, culture and collaboration. And our fellow start-ups agree:
After all, we’re working in an era where retaining tenants is much more complex than offering a great salary package. In an attempt to keep occupants satisfied, a community-driven approach (backed up by flexibility, technology, data, employee wellbeing and better use of space) is leading the way.
Find out more about how we fuse technology and people to provide exceptional customer experiences at www.getequiem.com/engage
Thank you! Please check your email to confirm.
Something's not right - please try again.
An exploration of why building managers should be garnering data about their building community if they want to please their current (and attractive prospective) tenants: including what you could learn from this data, and how to capture it with innovative technology and communication strategies.
Exploring the evolution of co-working in the 21st century, and how Equiem can help enable co-working through online skillshare, networking and transforming empty rooms into truly collaborative co-working spaces in your building.
Salta Properties’ business precinct in Melbourne’s Mulgrave, Nexus Corporate, will offer property management platform Equiem to its tenants, making it the first ever business precinct in Australia to adopt the software.
Equiem, Australia’s pre-eminent provider of digital tenancy platforms for the office building sector, is significantly expanding its presence in the retail market following an agreement with QIC to install its tenant portal across QIC’s nine major retail centres.
Investa Office Management (‘Investa’) has partnered with Proptech specialist Equiem to deliver a tenant engagement program nationally, expanding its role as an office manager and paving the way for a more connected and convenient workplace for the thousands who work in Investa buildings.
We’re delighted to present the newest addition to Equiem’s family, Natalie Clark! As Senior Platform Performance Manager, Natalie ensures our customers are satisfied with their experience in their buildings, which suit their workplace environment along with offer a sense of community to improve work/life balance.
Equiem now has a 10-desk private office in the newly opened WeWork 5 Martin Place, one of the only two WeWork locations so far in Australia. WeWork, a “platform for creators”, provides beautiful, collaborative workspaces with a big focus on fostering an active community - making it a perfect new home for our Sydney team.
For Equiem, fostering a diverse environment was never about being a ‘good corporate citizen.’ It was about gathering together the brightest, best and most passionate regardless of gender, sexual orientation or nationality.
Having a vibrant, engaged community in your building is important, as engaged tenants are more likely to stay and recommend your building to others. Building a community, however, doesn’t happen overnight. Learn the fundamental steps to engaging tenants in our guide.
All around the globe, technology is becoming more than just a tool that connects people - it's adding new levels of convenience and amenity to people's lives. It's more than just a network - it's a service provider. The big companies are finally catching up to the idea that the…
In 2014 we published over 4000 news posts and 6000 event posts. We also sent out over 680 newsletters. If content is king, going from three Equiem Portals to 20 in less than a year truly ended up in an epic Game of Thrones-like bloody battle. But, as in all…
As a company, Equiem provides various services - we activate buildings with an expert team of content creators and editors; we source retailers and manage the Portal Store; we work with our clients to help them help us shape our product and use our services; we run around telling people…
Bringing health and wellness into the workplace At Equiem Engage, what drives us is enriching the lives of tenants, solving their problems; being useful. We treat it as a privilege to be able to engage directly with thousands of these hard-working people every day.