Technology is driving critical changes in the workplace, and data and sensors play a key role in that change. But what does this mean for the way we work today, and how will we see things continue to change in the years to come? I sat down with two brilliant co-founders in the world of workplace tech, to discuss how technology has revolutionized our work environment and how it has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
Beyond Coworking - How Shared Services, Spaces and Technologies Are Revolutionizing The Workplace
Chris Kelly | Co-Founder & CIO of Convene
"Shared services, shared spaces, shared technology; this is going to be a paradigm shift that is going to completely change the user experience of buildings and allow for the democritization of quality of life at work."
Chris Kelly is Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Convene. His deep understanding of the built environment and its evolving state were immediately apparent during our conversation, and we got right on track covering the current and future state of the way we work.
Chris explains how currently there is a paradigm shift taking place in workplace infrastructure, which is changing how facility management and CRE leaders will meet the needs of their employees. We discuss how both technology enablement and the shared economy are on a collision course with the largest asset class in the world, and that this intersection is reconfiguring how the real estate industry will work in the near and distant future.
One of the biggest changes is the advent of the truly mobile workforce, and how the lines between our work and personal life are completely blurred. The implications are that we work around the clock, which entitles employees to feel increasingly empowered to have personal wellbeing addressed at work - because employers are eating into what used to be employees' personal time.
The basic services that FMs and CRE professionals provide buildings (e.g. temp control) are no longer the only things the workforce expects from them. Best in class employers understand that higher level support is now a requirement for a culturally strong company. Technology and the shared economy are becoming non-negotiable to understanding how to meet these new needs of your workforce. Data and gathered information should and will become the basis of how we approach workplace design of office buildings.
The Power of Sensors: How Building Data Is Impacting The Workplace Experience
Dan Ryan | Co-Founder & CEO of VergeSense
"I'm just excited to have an opportunity to participate in the transformation of the building. Which will encompass everything; furniture, lighting, building automation, workplace experience, where you sit, how you work, it's going to be fundamentally different five to ten years from now."
Dan Ryan is Co-Founder and CEO of VergeSense, a Sensor-as-a-Service platform specifically designed for our commercial real estate and facility management world. Being based in Silicon Valley, Dan sees the forefront of workplace change as it happens, and shared his vision for how workplaces can use data to change how we work for the better, and how we can ease workforce concerns of privacy along the way.
While data and sensors in the workplace are very new, the positive opportunities that they provide can't be ignored. But as buildings generate this new data, how are we going to make sense of it all? Dan talks about leveraging the power of AI by using custom algorithms to help us better understand the vast amounts of data that have been gathered about where we work. And how combining that data from multiple sources can enhance and optimize building performance.
However, before companies implement sensors or other means of gathering information, Dan believes they must first ask 'why' they plan to this. Defining your company's goal and intended purpose of utilizing data will help guide you through the process of selecting a vendor, and will ensure you get the outcome you want. The worst thing you could do would be to invest time and resources in technology that doesn't enable your vision.
As workplace tech continues to shift our decision making in regards to the way we work, we're excited to see what Chris Kelly referred to as workplace design transitioning to, "a forethought rather than an afterthought", which will be beneficial for us now and in the years to come.