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The ABC's of Tenant & Workplace Experience

Intelligent buildings can reach much higher pinnacles when landlords and tenants build on solid digital foundations. Tenant experience, that is a landlord’s ability to deliver core building services well, and ideally in a digital-friendly way, distinctly shapes workplace experience —the way tenants can create a sense of belonging and improved user experience in their spaces.

Tenant experience on the up In today’s fast-paced world, modern tenants expect modern workplaces. “Nice-to-haves” no longer cut it, and both office staff and workplace teams demand a minimum level of ‘digital’ interactions within their designated tenant demise - your space within their space (for those that lease).

Given our personal lives are full-to-the-brim with tech that genuinely makes life easier (think Alexa, Spotify, CarPlay, Netflix, and now generative AI through apps like ChatGPT), why aren’t our buildings doing the heavy-lifting for us in our workplace environments when we go to work?

A recent report from WiredScore revealed that 80% of businesses believe employees are more likely to attend an office equipped with smart technology in favour of working from home. Assuming that is still true, is it as simple as “build it and they will come”? If the answer is yes, are landlords even offering tenants the ability to deploy smart technology well? The surplus of office space across North America seems to indicate something in the chain is broken (albeit the demand for premium office space is soaring). Everything points to a need for better digital buildings.  

Tenant vs workplace experience Both tenant and workplace experience have the same goal – both are about putting people centre stage in buildings. Michael Przytula - Managing Director of Intelligent & Digital Workplaces at Accenture - helpfully points out that the differences are about which people you are referring to, and whose customers they are:

For Landlords In the world of Commercial Real Estate, landlords see user experience (UX) through the lens of the tenant – the customers who pay the rent and renew lease terms. Landlords and building owners should be asking digital questions like “how can I improve the way in which I deliver and maintain my core building services; things like plumbing, core electrical, vertical lifts, core security, visitor management, and shared amenity services”. Plus, “how can I provide my tenants with digital access to those core building systems in a standardized way within their demise”; think mechanical electrical plumbing (MEP), visitor management data, energy, and much more. These use cases will evolve as tenants digitally mature, and landlords continue to fine-tune their spaces and digital connectivity strategies. The point is, digital should bridge the traditional landlord/tenant divide.

For Tenants Tenants on the other hand see UX through the lens of their workers and people. For businesses serious about creating a sense of belonging in their culture, employers and employees demand consistent, healthy, and sustainable ways of collaborating in the hybrid world of work. Gone are the days of drab office spaces, coffee-stained mugs, and the perpetual nine-to-five hum of the office printer; companies are looking for offices where:

  1. Office staff can use their mobile devices to access the building, find colleagues, book desks, rooms, and whatever other resources they need to be successful in the office.

  2. The quality of the air delivers clean and compound-free environmental conditions for optimized well-being and comfort. Oh, and office staff have visibility of that data.

  3. Workplace teams know how their spaces are being used by blending occupancy data from multiple sources; sensors, booking systems, and access control. This information gives them pin-sharp data on the successes and failures of their space designs and policies.  

  4. HR can create a sense of community through signage-based notifications and community announcements.

Using tenant and workplace experience to create a competitive advantage

In a market where occupancy levels are 24% of pre-pandemic levels (JLL Global Real Estate Perspective, Q3 2023), and the commercial property world continues to live with the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic, a lot of this comes down to landlords and tenants finding new ways of adding value and improving the experience of the people who use and visit their buildings. Whether it’s strengthening a building’s sense of community through world-class amenities and workplace communication tools; or repurposing regular CAT B office space (pre-furnished layouts) into a tech-ready CAT A space for companies to customize their own on-brand version of hybrid work. Standing out goes deeper than cycle-to-work schemes and free snacks.

It’s all about the people

Tenant and workplace experience then should not be grounded in flashy gadgets and futuristic aesthetics; it's about understanding your people and building spaces that cater to them and the planet. It’s deeper than Landlord-specific tenant experience apps, it’s about creating a unified digital experience across landlord/tenant divides.

For years ICONICS has been integrating with the world’s leading PropTech systems — such as BMS, Access Control, Visitor Management, Indoor Air Quality, Occupancy sensors and much more. With ICONICS and Mitsubishi Electric, both landlords and tenants can create a frictionless smart building experience that future-proofs investment. Whether its entry-level workplace use cases around Smart Booking and Workplace Signage, or fully fledged buildings of the future that help landlords digitalize their core services to new and existing tenants in a future-proofed manner – we have a scalable platform and proven product portfolio for you.


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