Flexible Buildings: Five Elements To Create Buildings Ready For The New World Of Work
A report by Schneider Electric in partnership with WORKTECH Academy
Before the rise of the smart building, most office buildings were essentially rudimentary containers for work. These buildings didn’t know who was present, where employees were spending their time within the space, and with whom they were interacting. Occupants were unable to alter environmental conditions such as light or temperature in all spaces; building managers had limited control over tracking energy use or adapting spaces for different uses; and building owners and investors fretted about attracting the right tenants and maintaining the value of their asset with such a basic and inflexible offer.
The global pandemic accelerated the trend to developing smart buildings which are more intelligent in terms of generating environmental and occupancy data to inform more effective corporate real estate decision-making. Today, very few organizations would consider refitting a building or developing a new office without taking into account the implications of digital transformation.
But COVID-19 did more than just speed up the journey to smart – it introduced remote work as a viable long-term option for workforces around the world. As a result, companies are now looking at a hybrid model as employees work more flexibly between the office, home, and other spaces. Attendance at the workplace is likely to be more unpredictable than in the past, with more peaks and lows, requiring more flexible space use and more sophisticated building management. That means office buildings are not just required to be smart – they must also be flexible in terms of responding to changing occupier demands and meeting more stringent operational targets.
What do we mean by a flexible building? How can we define its key attributes? What are the key benefits of developing a flexible building and how can real estate professionals go about delivering one?
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