How India’s digital workplaces are making themselves future-ready


As companies weave in new technology, they may need fewer people to do the work or the processes themselves may change. In that regard, organizations need to be more flexible to accommodate changing business processes. Technology is moving further into business operations and facilities. It is inevitable that CRE (Corporate Real Estate) professionals are increasingly relying on technology such as sensors to monitor real estate facilities, virtual reality to remotely assess equipment, and building wayfinding systems that use 3D modelling and 360-degree views.

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CRE professionals are ready to adapt to the changing nature of the workplace in years to come. Organizations today understand how to support employees always, both inside and outside of the workplace and in all industries. Technology will soon replace the need for people to be physically present in coming years as virtual and augmented reality transform businesses. Even today, advances in home broadband speeds, mobile technology, and VOIP audio conferencing means that it is perfectly possible to work from multiple locations in a week without any detriment to productivity.

People use their mobile phones to shop online, do their banking, order car services, or place a food order for delivery or pick-up. CRE is helping put mobile apps in the hands of employees to help them be more efficient and productive. Even minor chores such as making a reservation for a meeting room, filing a request to fix the copy machine, or changing a lightbulb, all eat up time for employees and reduce productivity. For example, people don’t want to stand in line for 20 minutes to get a salad for lunch or drive around the parking ramp looking for somewhere to park.

CRE is increasingly seeing a rise in e-reception services, self-service. and self-management. People are more and more comfortable interacting with screens and robots for these types of services.

Some organizations are developing “touchpoint” journeys for working roles and services that revolve around foodservice offerings, such as how to promote food service messaging through IoT. Using eye-beam sensors like those used in the retail sector today, employers can place those sensors around a campus that push information to employees and visitors about the menu specials in the cafeteria or coffee shop that day. The potential is to further develop those services to also include food ordering apps that allow employees to advance-order a coffee or lunch or to-go orders for an evening meal to take home.

Better managing space needs and real estate costs will always be a priority for CRE. However, the discussion around smart, technology-enabled buildings has expanded as organizations have recognized the inter-dependency between operating efficiencies and the occupier experience. The business case for the digital workplace is being driven by efforts to improve collaboration and productivity and create an environment that helps attract and retain talent along with boosting the brand image. In addition, there is a huge appetite in the industry to talk about collaboration and productivity more quantitatively.

Ram Chandnani is Co-Chair, CoreNet Global, India Chapter, and Managing Director, Advisory & Transaction Services India, CBRE.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)


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