PropTech and Automating the Modern Office

PropTech introduces an attractive opportunity to save money while also maintaining control over how offices are built, to how they’re managed, to how they’re run. PropTech is beginning to influence all areas of how offices work.

With consistently updated building regulations improving the ways offices are built (via BIM or IoT), PropTech will change the landscape of planning and improvement within the office. In fact, PropTech will automate many processes and supersede others.


PropTech, AR, and IoT

First of all, Virtual and Augmented Reality will help with the planning and building process. Moving forward, it’ll be quick and easy to visualise what an office will look like before it’s built.

Due to the rise of the IoT, it’ll even be possible to pre-render the entirety of an office with PropTech. Specific desk specifications and monitor sizes, all manageable and malleable in a Virtual or Augmented Reality system.

Virtual Reality will be able to create the office to exact specifications, so that it can be verified and worked on as if blueprinted in real-time. Then, once the office is completed, Augmented Reality can automate a lot of processes related to filling the office.

Being able to see how much space a block of desks will take up, or where the coffee machine belongs, and being able to commit to these decisions with accurate information is entirely possible with IoT, AR, and PropTech.

Then, after it’s set up, it’ll also be possible to view what the walls would look like if they were any different colour, before committing to buying paint or hiring anyone. 

Therefore, multiple planning processes related to viewing, creating, or populating an office are automated. Also, if you’re planning on renting an office, but you’re currently based in another city or even country, the use of VR and PropTech means there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to do a viewing of the rendered office from half the world away.


Energy Efficiency

The latter point does assist with minimising a carbon footprint. Less travel means less emissions. Yet, there are many ways that PropTech will increase energy efficiency, and they’re already being used today.

From landlords to facilities managers, having a better energy rating means a better price for everyone. However, using old thermostats can have an extremely negative effect on an energy rating, for example.

An element of control is always good for the tenant, however, too much control allows a margin for human error. If an old thermostat is left on at a high temperature over a weekend, energy and costs are drained.

This goes for water, gas, and electricity, too. PropTech, is already helping with remote access to meters and thermostats. Being able to monitor how much energy is being wasted in a PropTech app, and then rectify any issues, saves stress, money, and energy, without sacrificing the control a tenant has.


Issues Management

Similar to energy efficiency, the ability to manage, update, and sort issues by severity remotely helps automate the process.

Not only this, though, but according to the Hackitt Report, more power is to be put in the hands of tenants when it comes to reporting and managing issues. While primarily related to housing, it’s already visible that this sentiment is also extending into the office.

With PropTech systems in place, reporting issues becomes a lot simpler than reporting an issue via email, or via someone with access to the right email. Then, this issue can be categorised and addressed accordingly and efficiently.

Looking at how PropTech is creating a more automated office, there is a pattern that emerges. Most of the developments involve some sort of remote working. More and more, we’re moving towards remote accessibility, whether it’s in terms of accessing the office’s CMS via a VPN, or if it’s changing the office thermostat from home at the weekend.

PropTech is moving forward in a way that allows a remote, virtual office, while also making the office itself more efficient, more comfortable, and more effective at nurturing productivity.

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