How should we view hybrid working from the perspective of space? Is it merely workers dividing their time between their homes and the offices that they used to occupy before the pandemic? Or does hybrid working also mean being able to work from an ecosystem of places (home, co-working space, cafés, company offices, etc.)? How will companies ensure the health and safety of workers in the hybrid workplace? What space parameters should companies monitor?
In this series on hybrid working, we spoke with Max Verteletskyi, CEO and co-founder of Spaceti, about these questions. Spaceti is a singular SaaS platform for managing spaces from individual offices to entire campuses. Founded in 2016 and based in Amsterdam, Spaceti offers a combination of a Workplace Analytics suite that collects data from proprietary or third-party sensors (desk/room/parking space occupancy), with indoor air quality management (temperature, humidity, CO2, etc.), and a Workplace App that offers booking and communication functionality. It is also compatible with the hardware of the most popular office solutions like Cisco cameras and Gantner lockers.
Max spoke of his definition of ‘hybrid working’, how to help companies adapt to the post-pandemic workplace, and the concerns current and potential clients have about the hybrid workplace.
Do you think that hybrid working is here to stay, or is it just a passing trend?
Indeed, I believe that hybrid working is here to stay. It’s important to define what hybrid working means from my perspective. It’s the ability to work from ecosystem of places – let’s say you can perform some of the focus work from your home, more collaborative work from your company office location or nearby co-working centre, and some creative work from a café or even a hotel somewhere in the alps that could give the right inspiration and vibe.
In my opinion, the lines are being blurred between the types of physical space and more importance will be given to the quality of space, which will become more of a benefit for your employees.
As a result, ‘Space management’ is needed more than ever before as the pandemic is forcing companies to adapt to this new hybrid workplace reality.
Whether it is hybrid or going back full-time to the physical offices, how can SPACETI help companies adapt to a post-pandemic workplace?
Prior to answering this question it’s important to point out what they actually need help with nowadays. Corporate real estate managers are looking for cost savings while ensuring a healthy and safe work environment. Lack of transparent occupancy and air quality data creates uncertainty in decision making. Employees feel insecure about no longer having a dedicated desk or a parking space when returning to the office.
Spaceti addresses efficiency and effectiveness challenges workplace occupiers face and provides reliable data that enable them to make key decisions that would improve workplace utilization, air quality and create a safe, data-driven, and interactive workspace.
Workplace occupiers can monetize better office usage (up to 25% savings on office space) and workforce productivity. Spaceti technologies are crucial, now than ever, because of the COVID-19 pandemic as they help manage the transition to more flexible and healthier offices. Furthermore, the collected data can help workplace managers decide how much space they will need in the future.
What top three concerns/issues about the hybrid workplace do you get asked by current or potential clients?
Firstly, given the major trends and shifts in the industry, clients want to know how they can make better data-driven decisions that would improve productivity and their people’s wellbeing. Workplace occupiers often lack data regarding how much rental space they currently need and will need in the future, causing uncertainty due to changing external conditions.
Secondly, people always ask how they can make a safer and more flexible environment for their people. This goes hand in hand with data collection. Due to a lack of environmental data, people cannot be alerted to poor air quality, which can transmit airborne infections and significantly affect health and productivity. Furthermore, since the pandemic, workplace managers need to flexibly change how the offices are being used. Their people need to have the tools to use the space and be sure there will be a place to park and a desk if they go to the office.
Lastly, clients are always concerned with implementing a fast and cost efficient solution to their problems. Corporate occupiers need to find suitable solutions for the new normal, which is accelerating market demand, including smart workplace technology that is not difficult to install (as it requires cabling, electric power, and high CAPEX).