How technology is enabling a faster return to offices

Abi Roni Mattom, Country Director-India, Unispace
Abi Roni Mattom, Country Director-India, Unispace

The modern office has for long been unimaginable without all things tech. Now, technology is also governing how our new offices take shape - from the four blank walls to a living, thriving workspace complete with focus and wellness areas, and collaboration zones- and of course, people finally returning to the office after the pandemic.

Designing and building a new office has always been a big deal for business organizations given their people are going to spend most of their waking hours there. Now, with most organizations experimenting with or adopting hybrid work models, the idea of an office is shifting from a place where people sit and work to a space largely reserved for socialising and community building, or for collaborative brainstorming with employees or clients. These changing goals and expectations mean that getting the new office right is an even bigger priority.

Naturally then, clients like to keep a close watch on how the new office is shaping up, just to make sure it is precisely as per their expectations and on schedule.

Fortunately, advanced AI-enabled tools available today can allow these clients to view the construction progress of their new office remotely, at any time and from anywhere in the world.

Unispace recently partnered with 360º construction photo documentation software OpenSpace. This software lets us capture and document construction sites with high-resolution photos and videos in just a few minutes, and share these visuals with our clients via cloud.

How technology is enabling a faster return to offices

Getting a real-time, 360-degree virtual view of their site allows the client-side team to experience not only how their new office would look like after its completion, but also how far along it has come in its journey to completion. It is then easier to identify issues that otherwise might have been overlooked, or even address a problem as soon as it shows up - for example, if a minor adjustment is deemed necessary by the onsite construction team. As a result, the actual construction moves faster and more efficiently, along with significantly reduced margins for errors. Ultimately, our clients are able to shift to their new offices faster - a win-win for all involved.

Enabling remote monitoring
Throughout the last year, the raging pandemic proved to be a crucial test for the benefits of such tools in improving the mutual collaboration between the client-side team and the construction teams. When Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) wanted to modernise their 20,000 sqft office with more space for socialization, training, and executive responsibilities, we undertook the design and construction during the peak pandemic.

The MSC team was unable to travel to the job site, we used OpenSpace to offer remote site monitoring to them. Together, we seamlessly worked through any items needing attention, both exciting milestones and issues to manage. Ultimately, we were able to provide a happy and efficient end-to-end experience for MSC. In other projects too, both the project team and the client-side team appreciated the advantage of using OpenSpace and other tools for greater visibility and easy collaboration throughout the project, helping everyone get to their new office faster.

Getting to work faster
The return to work-from-office routine after the pandemic is both exciting and nerve-racking for most people. Many organisations are realising that more than a year of working remotely may have permanently altered how their people want to work going forward. Additionally, they are now prioritising employee safety and well-being and are thus investing significant resources in altering or redesigning their offices for the future.

Thankfully, modern tools are helping us revolutionise how we create and deliver new workspaces faster than ever, so that everyone can get back to work and start doing what they are best at.
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