In today’s ever-changing business landscape, office environments are going through a significant transformation, shifting from traditional workspaces to lively hubs that prioritize not just productivity but also the well-being and satisfaction of employees. The development of hybrid working is one driver of that shift. Now that employees can work from home, office buildings need to provide additional services to attract them. This transformation has led to the emergence of service-oriented office buildings, where facilities and services inspired by hospitality play a leading role in enhancing the experience of tenants and fostering a sense of community.

The Rise of Service-Oriented Offices

What do we mean by service-oriented buildings? These innovative spaces go beyond simply offering basic amenities; they focus on providing high-quality services that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of tenants. From innovative sports facilities and seamless digitalized dining options to concierge services and collaborative workspaces, service-oriented buildings are redefining the tenant experience. For Asset Managers (AMs), this shift presents an opportunity to distinguish their properties in a competitive market and attract and retain top tenants.

Leveraging Data for Service Optimization

At the core of the success of service-oriented office buildings lies the strategic utilization of data. By collecting and analysing data related to tenant and occupier behaviours, preferences, and usage patterns, AMs and building operators can gain valuable insights that inform decision-making processes. Whether in optimizing facility usage, tailoring service offerings, or improving the layout of common areas, data analytics plays a crucial role in driving operational efficiency and enhancing the overall tenant experience. People counting sensors, air quality and comfort sensors as well as energy meters, are examples of IoT deployed by Square Sense to seamlessly collect data related to service usage.

Enhancing Service Operations Through Data Insights: Some Examples

Example 1: Conference Center – Meeting Rooms & Auditoriums

Most modern office buildings are equipped with conference centres comprising meeting rooms, auditoriums, and cafeteria-like amenities located in common areas and available to tenants’ employees. Developers, space planners or AMs often lack precise ideas on the dimensioning of these service spaces at the design phase. Strategically placed people counting sensors enable dynamic management of conference centres: reducing the number of meeting rooms if their usage is low, adjusting the capacity of selected meeting rooms in case of over-dimensioning, opening access to auditoriums to external users if in-house demand is insufficient, reshaping the layout of the conference centre based on usage. These are examples of data-driven decisions that can be made by AMs to match supply and demand, allow for a more efficient use of the space, generate additional income, and sometimes gain lettable sqm.

Example 2: Restaurant Facilities

Consider the dining facilities within an office building which are living through challenging times due to a reduced and erratic physical occupancy. Whether the building has a standard restaurant or an innovative connected-fridges concept, analysing tenants’ physical occupancy and data related to restaurant facility usage sheds light on which tenants utilize this service the most, the least, when (analysis by hour of the day, day of the week, and period of the year), and how (duration of stay in the space). This detailed understanding enables AMs to target tenants/occupiers with low engagement with the service, allowing for targeted strategies to encourage participation, improve the offer and foster retention.

Example 3: Hospitality Management

There is a growing interest among hospitality managers in accessing real-time physical occupancy data to enhance their activities. Each office building comprises distinct tenants with different and evolving occupancy patterns. Knowing the busiest day of the week allows hospitality managers to better schedule on-site events for maximum attendance and impact. It also allows them to measure if events such as yoga or gym classes drive occupancy. All of this with the objective of (i) improving the user experience and ultimately (ii) improving tenant retention. This works not only because of the amenities and the hospitality services themselves but also because of the sense of community being created which can turn a classic office building into lively social hub. To achieve this, sharing data with all stakeholders is crucial. Through its SaaS platform, Square Sense is laying the foundations of a transparent real estate industry with data accessible to all under the supervision of AMs.

Example 4: Common Areas

Applying retail footfall analysis in an office environment also provides answers to basic questions such as which access employees use to enter the building. Square Sense has found that a secondary access can represent up to 30% of the total in- and outflow in an office building. Secondary accesses are often not as well arranged as main entrances: no reception desk, poor layout, lack of signage and communication to users, low-quality material leading to a degraded user experience. Therefore, understanding which entry points are in use allows AMs to make important decisions on how to allocate CapEx budgets for maximum tenant impact.

Fostering Tenant Retention to Maintain Asset Value

In today’s competitive real estate market, AMs recognize that tenants increasingly evaluate their overall satisfaction based on the seamless operation of services provided within the building. By leveraging data-driven insights to ensure exceptional service experiences and continuously adapting service offerings to meet tenants’ evolving expectations, operators can cultivate a deep sense of trust and loyalty among tenants. This heightened commitment translates not only into sustained physical occupancy rates but also into an additional stream of revenue for the asset. Moreover, by fostering long-term tenant relationships, AMs reduce the risks of tenant departure, ensure stable cash flows, and thus maximize valuations of their portfolios in the eyes of investors and stakeholders.

You want to know more about it and how Square Sense can help you achieve a service-oriented strategy for your asset?

Contact us now to learn more