CRE experts reveal their successful return-to-office strategies

Return to Office planning

In our webinar, “Strategies for Return to Office Success,” our panel of experts discussed how they developed and have been rolling out re-entry plans across their portfolios leveraging technology consulting, integrated workplace management, environmental and occupancy sensors, CRE business intelligence solutions, a global CMMS, space planning software, and workplace experience apps.

Kathy Jones, the associate vice president for facilities, engineering, and planning at Rice University, shared highlights from her comprehensive return-to-office plan:

  • Creative tactics that have enticed students, faculty, and staff to return to campus
  • Practices and procedures that made the campus safer for students and faculty than the surrounding region; when Houston was at a 25% COVID-19 positivity rate, Rice University saw only a 0.15% positivity rate
  • Dual-delivery classrooms that facilitate both in-person and remote students and faculty

Jenna Geigerman, the director of real estate and Strategy for Citrix, provided insights and frameworks as to how she translates employee-first principles into workplace systems and structures and leverages technology and data to thoughtfully facilitate a hybrid workplace model:

  • Broad cross-departmental committees for both return-to-office and post-COVID-19 workplace
  • The technology assessment the team uses to prioritize the initiatives that will help Citrix drive results and make smarter decisions
  • Technologies used to ensure Citrix has adequate space in the right locations for those returning to the office while balancing employee privacy
  • An intentional change management process

Greg Nuyens, senior director of advanced workplace solutions for Genentech, is tasked with ensuring continued operation, employee safety, innovation, and productivity to their hybrid workplaces in a highly regulated industry. He has achieved quick results by repurposing existing technologies and extending cleaning protocols to additional team members and spaces:

  • Employee surveys, which show that employees want to return to the campus: physical labs and group work
  • A framework for flexible work options, which includes where, when, and how employees work
  • Agreements by function and then team that clarify expectations as to how team members communicate and collaborate, meet, conduct focused work, and share knowledge
  • The technology timeline for Genentech’s COVID-19 response throughout 2020

Additionally, attendees were asked to share insights from their organizations, validated by the panelists, about how they are prioritizing data collection to inform decisions as they create and manage hybrid workplaces.

return to office data

Our panelists have confirmed that the best return-to-office strategies are well-planned, customized, and strategic. Technology and data offer competitive advantages for hybrid workplaces and enable faster decisions in this flexible environment. Review “The Corporate Real Estate Guide to the Hybrid Workplace” to guide your organization’s journey toward a successful hybrid workplace.

If you have just started your re-entry planning, download our free return-to-office checklist to help your team get started.

Return to Office webinar