The world is currently in the midst of a major economic slowdown, the extent of which is still unknown. Every industry is going to have to adapt following the COVID-19 pandemic and few more so than real estate.
The crisis has spawned numerous contradictory predictions and wild claims, but the challenge now will be to construct a new ‘normal’ as soon as possible so that people and businesses can return to work safely.
On a positive note, the technology that many of us have come to rely on during lockdown will continue to be used, and will even help increase productivity and streamline the operations of lots of businesses – not just those in the tech sector.
This widespread adoption of technology though, along with flexible working policies will put additional pressure on physical office space that will already have to rapidly adapt to new social distancing rules. Savvy have been working hard during this period to ensure landlords and property owners can keep their spaces safe and relevant in the post-lockdown world.
New protocols regarding social distancing will no doubt need to be implemented, particularly in shared spaces. Walls or barriers may be added to separate seating areas, stricter cleaning protocols will be introduced, and we will need to learn how to maintain a collaborative culture, despite the divides.
Tenant engagement will be key to communicating these changes and reassuring occupiers that their health and safety is a priority in the workspace. Sensors will also have a role to play, helping property managers comply with capacity restrictions and monitor indoor air quality in their buildings – an invisible force that has a major impact on our health.
The future holds a number of possible paths, all of which remain uncertain now. What is certain though, is that the changes needed will reshape workplaces for years to come, and inevitably the culture that goes with it. We hope that we can use the crisis to produce something better, we’re ready to share our ideas and look forward to hearing about others too.
Freddie Pritchard-Smith, Savvy CEO