Technology is changing commercial office buildings in order to improve how occupants use and interact with their work space. One of the most visible signs of this trend has been the rise of workplace experience platforms and apps that aim to simplify the interaction between occupants and buildings to increase employee productivity and engagement.
A key element of this trend is the move by several of the major players to increase the level of integration between workplace experience software, critical building operations, and property management systems.
“Before the migration to remote work, it was easier to classify workplace experience technology as a ‘nice to have’. But when the pandemic hit, and office occupants suddenly shifted to remote working, traditional communication channels were no longer adequate,” reads our latest research on the workplace market.
“Consequently, workplace experience platforms became a ‘must have’, thanks to their proven effectiveness in helping building owners and operators communicate with their occupants. The shift is compelling many organizations to offer alternative communication channels to employees, so they can submit support requests from anywhere and receive vital information.”
In order to quickly and effectively integrate workplace experience and core building systems, progressive solution providers have sought out partnerships that compliment their own offering to provide the integrated offering the customers now demand. Our new study investigates dozens of partnerships that have emerged around the world in recent years, such as the deal between HqO, Corrigo and Building Engines Prism, led by investor and partner JLL Technologies.
“HqO Workplace Experience Platform announced the launch of new integrations to critical enterprise and property management systems in October 2022. Through the integration with Corrigo and JLL Technologies, corporate employees who use HqO can now submit and manage a variety of service requests, Enrichment to the existing integration between HqO and Building Engines Prism also makes it easier for tenant users to reserve resources within the HqO Workplace Experience App. Through this partnership, companies can better leverage their investments in both HqO and Building Engines."
Other partnerships discussed in the report include Modo’s alliance with Accruent’s EMS space booking platform to bring together a single workplace experience for users from one mobile application. Also the integration between Beezy and Appspace in July 2022 that combines an intranet solution with a workplace experience platform, which preceded the deal between Appspace and Microsoft that created the only full workplace experience right inside Teams.
Workplace Experience & IWMS
Integration of workplace experience apps with Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) is also clearly evident across the leading IWMS vendors such as Eptura, Spacewell, Planon and Accruent. Established building automation vendors and elevator firms are partnering with specialist workplace experience app providers to augment their building and elevator management systems with best-in-class mobile app capabilities.
“A few years ago, there was a seemingly impenetrable wall separating building technology from the apps and software that empowered tenants to do their best work,” according to a 2023 Kastle white paper. “Building systems controlling everything from HVAC and lighting to access control and emergency alerts couldn’t find a purpose to justify closer connections with tenant tech stacks. Integrations were custom, expensive and often didn’t fulfill their promises.”
Now, however, buildings and individual workplaces have a problem in common: getting people back in the office regularly, our research reveals. Furthermore, with weekly occupancy still hovering around 50% of pre-pandemic levels across the United States, landlords and their tenants are moving their attention beyond office perks and policies to deliver an in-office workplace experience that is more enjoyable and worthy of a commute.
“Technology can enable these elevated office days when building amenities are built directly into the workflows which has the potential to define people’s entire workdays,” the comprehensive new report states.