Exclusive minutes from Propteq Europe 2018 session on The Future Workplace.
Attendee: Future proptech innovations will continue to improve the working environment as new technologies make the office more efficient and enjoyable. Companies such as WeWork have revolutionised the way we run our businesses.
Attendee, a landlord: A landlord would prefer open space because it is cheaper per square foot. It is about knowing how to use that open space. There is always going to be an open plan floor. There should be dynamics. For example, space for people to sit, work and collaborate together, break out areas and cubicles for those people who want to work quietly on their own.
Attendee, CCO of PropTech startup: it depends on the individual, the employee, making the choice of where they want to be. Even though someone may be comfortable with one type of space, other styles of spaces should be available, should they change their mind. People like to work at different stages through the day and therefore there should be the availability of different of settings. There are ideally two solutions. One, by having massive offices that are expensive and only some companies can afford to do, or the second being you have to be unbelievably smart about how you use and reuse space. Space utilisation is crucial. It is not about getting rid of space, it is about using it better. There must be a balance of recreation and optimisation of working for the business.
Attendee, workplace consultant: However, the design depends on what is appropriate for that employment sector or company. For example, you will find that those in the finance sector arerelatively static in a desk environment. Then if you take a look at engineer’s or designers, they are constantly moving around because they are constantly doing different tasks. So it depends on what sector that organisation is working in. Therefore if you are building a setting for mathematicians for example, it would consist of different things compared to a setting for a design team.
Attendee, Berlin startup CEO: Work space designed to keep people in work place as long as possible. For example some workplaces have digital refrigerator lockers so that employees are able to get groceries delivered to their workplace. Thus instead of spending time away from work shopping for groceries, they are able to ideally stay at work for as long as they can. All these things are meant to keep people in the workplace longer. Work teams are also evolving. You will stop seeing ten mathematicians in the same room and ten designers in the same room. Work groups will be more mixed and therefore the workplace should be able to cater to many different personalities and career sector genres.
Attendee: Also, some people might like open space on some days and quiet space of different days, regardless of what sector they are from. The workplace would need that capacity for space; however it requires much more money. That is what we need to get our head around; how will future proptech technologies anticipate what type of space is required and how we can make it as flexible as possible so that we can accommodate that.
Attendee, member of a start-up company in Berlin: There is future proptech technology emerging which shows who is in the building when and then we match them based on their profile and send them a notification which lets them know that their colleague is also on the same break and we can locate and navigate them to each other. This makes it easier to get to know everyone while working in such a big space/building and will allow for better communication. It is basically social networking for your building.
Attendee, a PropTech firm: From a space management perspective, there must be flexibility. For example a spacing area should be able to be easily converted into a desk area because, for example, there might be a sudden influx where everyone is needed within the same space. The only way you can design effective spacing is by enabling that flexibility.
Attendee: However another key factor is also to make sure that we can come up with ways to optimise work production. The key thing is to give employees the voice to share opinions. Introverts should be able to say they would prefer a desk for example. Everyone should be able to work in a space they feel comfortable so that they can be productive.
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