Post-pandemic efforts to get employees back to a shared workspace can be a struggle. A real estate expert outlines eight ways new tech can help.
Many Generation Z individuals have been immersed in a digital world since childhood. They’ve grown up with smartphones and the internet, and technology is an integral part of their daily lives. As this tech-savvy generation now enters the workforce, the concept of “return” to the office takes on a whole new meaning. Many are accustomed to flexible, remote work and virtual collaboration. As such, employers must harness technology to create a seamless and engaging office experience. Here are some key ways to do that.
Take a mobile-first approach for a frictionless experience. Before employees even arrive at the office, hybrid work solutions can provide the ability to see when colleagues are in and reserve a desk. Upon arrival to the building, wireless access controls facilitate smooth entry as turnstiles automatically open on approach. Elevator dispatch, parking, ordering lunch, booking a fitness amenity and submitting a work order all become easy when everyone is using one tenant engagement platform and connected in a seamless way.
Create a sense of community. A robust tenant experience program drives engagement with the property and presents employers with a unique opportunity to promote events and perks that are available when coming into the office. Digital programming within the app—including weekly happenings around town, games, high quality content and giveaways—create a sense of excitement in the building. Offering employees exclusive discounts from onsite retailers and local businesses also incentivizes people to come into the office.
Use smart technology for a comfortable office. Smart office technology leverages Internet of Things (IoT) devices to optimize office spaces for efficiency and comfort. Sensor-equipped lights, temperature control systems and smart meeting rooms that adjust settings based on occupancy can enhance the workplace experience for Gen Z. These tech-savvy individuals appreciate environments that adapt to their preferences automatically.
Earn back the commute. Make your office a destination and enhance the life of your employees by implementing concierge services that help employees with personal errands and tasks during the workday. Services that can be scheduled through a tenant app such as dry cleaning, grocery shopping, notary services or package deliveries can free up employees’ time and reduce the need to run errands after work.
Understand employee needs. Surveys allow employers to proactively identify what employees want and need from the property and make informed decisions to tailor amenities and services to better suit their talent’s demographic. Regularly seeking feedback from employees demonstrates that employers value their opinions and are committed to providing a positive working environment. Quick polls through a tenant app provide a pulse check on how people are feeling about the building on any given day or after an event.
Immersive technology experiences. Virtual and augmented reality technologies offer a novel way to engage Gen Z in the office. Companies can use VR for interactive onboarding and training, enabling new employees to familiarize themselves with the workspace virtually. Additionally, AR can enhance physical workspaces with virtual information overlays, facilitating collaboration and enhancing productivity.
Sustainability initiatives. Gen Z is environmentally conscious and seeks employers who share their commitment to sustainability. Implementing green technology such as LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, energy management software and water leak detection tools demonstrate a company’s dedication to environmental responsibility, resonating positively with this generation.
Certifications. Gen Z values transparency. Building owners and employers that voluntarily seek out independent green certifications like LEED, WiredScore or BREEAM to validate their buildings’ sustainability and environmental performance will attract these workers.
As Gen Z becomes a significant part of the workforce, businesses must adapt to meet their unique expectations and values. Leveraging new technologies to create a frictionless and tech-forward office experience will be instrumental in attracting and retaining this digitally native generation. By embracing smart office technology, companies can create a workplace environment that resonates with Gen Z’s preferences and fosters a productive, engaged and value-driven workforce.