What early adopters of workplace technology can teach us about the future of work

embracing proven workplace technology leads to enhanced employee experience

Every major trend has its first major early adopters, and the shift toward embracing modern workplace technology is no different. Input from over 1,100 organizations responding to JLL Global Research’s Future of Work Survey suggest members from notable industries are positioning themselves to take an aggressive stance toward workplace technology adoption over the next three years.

According to the survey, the technologies that organizations are choosing to adopt by 2025 include remote working solutions, automation systems, environmental controls, touchless access, occupancy sensors, and portfolio data tools.

Some industries, like aerospace and defense, have and will continue to make investments in workplace technology. Others, like e-commerce and real estate, have drastically re-tooled their short-term strategy to facilitate technology adoption.

Let’s dig deeper into why some industries are pivoting so strongly to modernize, digitize, and hybridize their operations. These takeaways showcase how organizations can proactively respond to the new challenges created by increasingly technology centric workplaces.

Measuring the workplace should include measuring how people use it

As hybrid models catch-on and more employees have begun to return to the office, it’s become clear to members of the corporate real estate industry that they need a new way of measuring workplace performance. Since it’s not a given that the office will be full every day, knowing the number of seats or working spaces is no longer sufficient to inform strategies.

It’s clear the future of work is more relationship oriented than ever before. Decision-makers need to know who is in the office, when, and how they are using it. So do their co-workers and collaborators. Preferably, this information is delivered in real-time. Even better if those updates are delivered in a digestible format like a mobile app.

Members of the real estate industry are responding to these gaps in their data collection capabilities by leveraging new workplace technologies. Innovations in hybrid workplace platforms, occupancy sensors, touchless access, and digital infrastructure are among the many solutions the industry is expected to widely embrace over the next three years.

Expect sustainability demands for all workplaces to increase

Energy consumption is expected to increase as companies scale larger and embrace more technology solutions. That means organizations will need to focus on ramping up their sustainability strategy to offset the increased usage.

Nowhere is that burden felt more acutely than in the data center industry. With more companies turning to the cloud to offset their own energy and space usage, that burden is then being passed on directly to the data center companies that host their networks.

The ability to monitor environmental data and identify potential operational improvements has always been a must-have workplace capability in the data center industry. The sudden jump in planned technology adoption through 2025 is less likely a reflection of a new embrace of workplace technology and more a necessity of scale.

Beyond data centers, there’s heightened pressure on all companies to embrace more sustainable operations to help make their workplaces more attractive to top talent. A majority of Millennial and Generation Z job seekers have suitable business practices at the top of their list of qualities they prefer in an employer.

Employee experience should stay consistent across varied workplaces

E-commerce organizations are scaling to thrive in a world where far more people work from home. To meet their customer’s demands and stave off competition from other online retailers, companies are developing “last-mile” infrastructure to ensure their customers receive their purchases in a secure, prompt manner.

Organizations are expanding their industrial CRE portfolio quickly to meet these logistical challenges. They are planning to leverage CRE data platforms, automated facilities management, and tools for analyzing portfolio performance to help them accomplish their goals.

The demand for “last mile” logistics is also prompting companies to expand their definition of the workplace. This means new challenges as their logistics employees will expect to receive the same considerations as peers working in office environments.

Companies will rely on workplace experience tools to ensure their people are working in safe, productive spaces, regardless of whether they are in offices or warehouses. Wellbeing and connectivity solutions play a role in keeping every member of the “last mile” logistics workforce motivated and engaged.

The rise of e-commerce has similarly been a boon for existing warehouse and logistics firms as they seek to expand while maintaining the same employee performance and workplace experience. These organizations are racing to adopt the same CRE technologies and approaches as their e-commerce partners as they expand their capabilities for storing, moving, and delivering greater volumes of retail goods.

Organizations can still prepare for the future of work

Multiple, large-scale paradigm shifts are unfolding around how people are spending their working hours. Want more information about the technologies that can help position your organization for success?

In JLL’s 2022 report, Innovation and technology in the hybrid age, CRE experts break down the tools best suited to enable hybrid work, walk through the steps of successful technology transformation, and show how to build an implementation roadmap.