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Tackling The People Challenge Through Technology

CBRE Breakfast Briefing
07 November 2019

Report - CBRE and ThisWeekinFM recently lead a delegation of experts to provide a briefing on technology in workplace and real estate strategy.

The breakfast briefing was entitled - Tackling The People Challenge Through Technology. It attracted an audience of one hundred in the first weeks of October. Nick Wright from CBRE kicked off proceedings with a presentation on the trends likely to have an impact on the future of real estate - envisioning technology as a driver for employee engagement and thus greater productivity.

Wright used figures from the latest Leesman Index survey that showed 47% of respondents believe their workplaces do not allow them to work productively - using this to set the theme for the rest of the morning’s talks, which were all based around how technology can positively affect this issue.

Wright indicated the importance of robust technology and business flexibility in a shift towards future proofing human capital. He also warned against businesses’ falling prey to ‘technology tourism’. CBRE’s viewpoint is very much that technology should be the enabler of best business practices, not the starting point.


Internal environments

Similarly, Derrick Tate from PwC Real Estate Advisory (and RICS) agreed that businesses are responding to this people-centricism by installing sensors to measure a variety of  workplace impacts that range from air quality to  demand-based cleaning. Tate summarised that higher quality services: "Provide a more productive and comfortable workplace that supports wellness and has a more positive environmental impact."


Deliberately delightful

Stella Canivenc, of Host Technology, developed this idea further and spoke about creating a competitive advantage through fostering a ‘deliberately delightful experience’ for employees. "Delivering this standard of office environment is now non-negotiable in attracting the best talent in the industry," Canivenc said. Host are working to achieve this through Apps that create a positive experience during the full working day, from entry to exit.


Smart Buildings

Matthew Durdin from Johnson Controls Building Technologies & Solutions then offered a guide to smart buildings, showcasing his own HQ at One Albert Quay, Cork - accepted by many as the smartest building in the world at this time and certainly credited as Ireland’s smartest owing to its innovations in areas such as security, environmental control, safety and air quality.


Augmented reality

Concluding the morning’s events, it was back to CBRE, with Miguel Vidal moving to the subject of augmented reality, which he described as the ‘third wave of computing’. Those exposed to the augmented reality experience don glasses that project digital objects into your world, making it look as if they are actually there. Augmented reality, said Vidal, will have a variety of uses that range from fully immersive, yet virtual 'on-the-job' employee training to allowing engineers to arrive at a building and navigate to the scene of a problem with an 'virtual guide' with that same virtual guide, providing instructions on how to fix a problem.

Picture: Albert Quay, Cork.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 07 November 2019


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