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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Smarten Spaces launches future-ready hybrid workspaces

The Living Lab is equipped with AI technology and can be accessed remotely.

The old office set-up may now be a thing of the past. As workers adapt to a changing work lifestyle, so will this dictate what kind of future workplaces will be more conducive for work.

On March 30, Smarten Spaces held its virtual launch of the Future of Workplace Living Lab. Industry leaders and company officers attended the event and discussed what changes are necessary to properly shift to a workplace that employees will enjoy going back to.

Founder and CEO of Smarten Spaces Dinesh Malkani shared that this change started even before the pandemic happened, with technology opening avenues for businesses to reach foreign or remote talents.

“[From] a competitiveness standpoint, I think hiring has had a huge impact. Today, you don't [ask] where are you based? It doesn't matter anymore. We have actually got our employees now in so many places around the world, and they're all still part of the same company,” he said.

Malkani said that with remote talents now becoming a new benchmark for competitiveness, one’s physical business space will no longer be the sole measure of its success.

“If somebody asked me today, how many office locations you have? I say 100 offices. Why do you have 100 offices? There are 100 people working from home,” he said.

“So the notion of being big, [I] think that is definitely going away. Technology, coupled with culture, coupled with ecosystems coming together, is definitely going to change the way that competitiveness is going to happen,” he added.

Anders Stenbäck, VP for Offering and Services of YIT Urban Development and Construction Company, a company based in Helsinki, Finland, said that property owners will need to adjust their lease offerings in the coming years to be more attractive to lessees.

“What I'm seeing with my own clients is that almost everyone wants to renegotiate the leases, they have too much space, or they have the wrong type of space,” he said.

“My belief is that there's 50% too much square meters or square feet [compared] to the pre-pandemic area. So, the other big trend is that tenants don't want to make 10, 20-year lease agreements anymore. They don't know how much space they will need, or what type of space,” he added.

Stenbäck said that this has caused a fundamental disruption in the real estate industry. Businesses and property owners will need to shift to hybrid spaces and offerings in order to meet the changing needs of the working individual.

Shaping the workplaces of tomorrow

In the event, Smarten Spaces launched its Future of Workplace Living Lab in Singapore which showcased practical and modern workplace technologies. The Living Lab is slated to evolve over time as it collaborates with more workplace solutions providers.

The company is planning to expand the lab to other markets such as Bengaluru, India, and New York, U.S.A. Smarten Spaces is also partnering with Cisco, Kone, Microsoft, VergeSense, Salto, HID and other global solutions providers.

According to Malkani, whilst the industry recognizes that a nexus of technology, workplace and workforce is crucial in creating future spaces for work, the playbook for hybrid working remains to be written.

“[Business] leaders across functions are working together to define what the hybrid workplace will look like, how technology will impact organizational culture and empower the new way of work, and ultimately drive greater ROI and productivity,” he said.

The Living Lab is powered by Jumpree 3.0, a fully-integrated end-to-end software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution developed for workplace safety and space management.

It mainly aims to serve as a workspace that includes integrated, real-time technology-enabled processes such as digital check-in, booking for seats and rooms, temperature control, employee finder, and other features.

“We are thrilled to open the doors to our Future of Workplace Living Lab, which will serve as a hub of innovation and collaboration that allows us to testbed new workspace technologies together with our partners,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Smarten Spaces.

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