The year continues to bring surprises. The ongoing effects of the pandemic are reaching every industry across the world but one of the most substantial accelerated evolutions is in the office environment. As people started working from home in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19, companies struggled to keep their cultures and productivity high if not their businesses afloat. Now rhythms have been discovered and the remote workforce is the majority as proven in quiet commercial offices that were once bustling.
Space as a service, or SPaaS, is an area that has accelerated its appeal and adoption in 2020. Antony Slumbers, proptech influencer and expert, defined it as a space that is procured on-demand and also a workplace that provides the space and services appropriate for an individual as and when they need it. This is not a new concept as it’s central to the purpose of hotel rooms in general, renting a space and associated services for an established period of time. It’s also not new to the commercial real estate space thanks companies like WeWork, Regus, Knotel and others.
Many companies have announced that the option to work from home will continue through summer of 2021 such as Facebook, other companies are shutting down leased office space and yet others, like Amazon, continue to lease more office space. While there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer to what the office environment will look like down the road or when it will happen, we do know what successful SPaaS will include.
For landlords and providers of commercial real estate space, the demand for SPaaS requires a shift. This evolution focuses on the ability to provide service, data and branding that creates a clean, safe and productive user experience. Creating this experience will be possible through using building data to understand occupants’ usage of the space. A successful pivot to this focus of proactively meeting occupants’ needs will lead to higher profitability for building owners.
Fortunately, the technology already exists to meet these needs. Sensors now have longer-lasting batteries, are smaller and easier to place in discrete locations, and have advanced to give precise and accurate measurements. Envio Systems has a unique hardware and software suite that provides the infrastructure that enables the connection and control of various building elements including BMS, lighting, HVAC, and sensors – the entire Internet of Things (IoT) network. The collected data can inform building owners and landlords of how their space is used and ways to make it better.
Traditional real estate strategy operates around many key components. In a SPaaS model, understanding where to get the information from could be difficult if not impossible with a revolving door of individuals and companies using the space. Data from sensors allow these spaces to be continuously monitored and analyzed without requiring inputs from people. Sensors and software that is able to cohesively combine data and translate it into meaningful relationships can give insight to the people that need answers.
To maximize the return on their buildings, building owners and landlords must be smart about how space is used. Occupancy sensors can keep track of where people are and how long they’re there. Knowing this information can impact how space is designed as well as how energy should be spent to increase comfort through HVAC and lighting systems. If a space changes hands or is scheduled to be used by a larger group later in the day, the environment can remain flexible, comfortable and productive by proactively making modifications to best suit the next group. Finally, sensors paired with the right software can make these changes quickly to eliminate any disruption to the occupant.
Occupants’ experiences are good when the environment meets their needs and even exceeds their expectations. Occupants will demand that SPaaS locations are conscious of health and sanitization standards by tracking cleaning schedules of shared spaces and giving occupants access to that information. One of the most important elements to track is indoor air quality (IAQ) – monitoring beyond temperature and humidity levels given by thermostats and into dangers that could spread viruses and other health risks. By keeping buildings up to health standards and keeping track of them, building owners can lessen their liability in the event of another pandemic. Again, this is all possible through the right sensors and feeding the data into a powerful analytics platform like that of Envio Systems.
With so much data able to be tracked from building systems, sensors, and more, it can be intimidating to know where and how to start. We want to ensure that from implementation to onboarding our customers are guided each step of the way, so that our technology can be used to achieve their best possible results. Envio Systems has standard environmental IAQ and occupancy sensors that are included in our solution, and we have the ability to integrate APIs with any other desired sensors. Interested in hearing a success story? Contact us and let’s see what data and possibilities we can discover for you.