How to Maintain the Workplace Experience During COVID-19
Why is tenant experience important during COVID-19?
Tenants continue to value amenities and workplace experiences despite not physically working in the office right now. They crave connection, collaboration, camaraderie and the social dynamics of the office environment more than ever. In order to provide these experiences, buildings must adjust how they are offered to reflect today’s remote working environment and convey them easily when employees return to work.
To start, well-being and wellness experiences are important aspects of work life. Physical, emotional and mental well-being are top of mind for tenants as they work remotely and begin thinking about a return to work. Extended periods of time sitting, shared space with partners trying to work, children being homeschooled and social isolation have taken their toll on overall health. Buildings must be proactive in bringing virtual well-being and wellness experiences to tenants while they work remotely and when they start to head back to the office.
Tenant appreciation is also essential right now, especially due to the disruption COVID-19 has caused in the workplace. Building owners and property managers are already planning for tenants’ re-entry to the office and how they can show appreciation with gifts, small social-distancing-conscious experiences and virtual programming as hosting large tenant events and gatherings will be on hold for the foreseeable future.
How owners and property managers show up and give back, provide service and overall experience to tenants now will be appreciated and create stronger loyalty in the long term.
The future of work is still in question, but social connection, well-being, wellness, appreciation and culture will always be part of the workplace experience and buildings must deliver both inside and out of a physical office building.
How can property managers engage, show appreciation and support while tenants are working from home?
Companies are figuring out how to remotely onboard new employees, keep them engaged and connected, support them with convenience, well-being, food, social and free resources for them, their children and elderly family members. It’s a challenging time and demonstrating value will strengthen the relationship for the future.
There are many ways to virtually engage with tenants while still being authentic and offering value to their work and corporate culture. For example, developing creative, fully curated and customized virtual programming experiences implemented portfolio-wide and easily delivered via a tenant experience app like Simpli.
Wellness, fitness, socialization, entertainment, convenience, and food delivery are just a few areas that can be provided virtually.
Additionally, tenant engagement apps enable improved communication—such as push notifications directly to users’ mobile phones. Leveraging this technology enables owners and property managers to continue a dialogue and tenant connectivity, driving home the notion that even though we are distancing, we are not distant.
Can virtual experiences be cost-effective to implement?
A virtual tenant experience offering can be very cost-effective. The key benefit is the implementation of virtual programming across an entire office portfolio. Instead of investing in custom events and amenity experiences in each building, the offering can be customized and curated for multiple buildings at once and delivered virtually via a tenant experience app.
For example, budgets that were allocated for large building events can be redistributed across portfolios. Innovative solutions can be developed by experience teams that continue to provide wellness, connection and engagement without the big lobby parties.
Additionally, as social media continues to play an important role in promoting the workplace experience, a tenant experience app allows streamlined tenant communication. This gives buildings the opportunity to consolidate their social media channels to one overall experience reflective of the entire portfolio.
Right now is a crucial time for building owners as tenants plan for re-entry to the office, with some not only debating whether or not they can afford to retain their space but also if they even need the space itself. They will consider the benefits of tenant experience and the impact it has on the value of their business, and on maintaining and enhancing company culture. Although there is no set time table for returning to the workplace, owners must invest in elevating the virtual tenant experience today and evolve to a hybrid solution for the future.
About the Author
This article was contributed to Tina Urquhart, founder and CEO of Simpli (formerly Charm City Concierge). She started Simpli (evolved from Charm City Concierge) more than 25 years ago with the goal of re-imagining the workplace experience and has since grown it into a trusted brand that helps landlords and companies retain tenants and engage employees. She has collaborated with some of the largest names in real estate and business, including CBRE, Boston Properties and Brookfield to name a few, and was recently chosen as one of the top influencers in Technology by GlobeSt.
Simpli, formerly Charm City Concierge, enhances the workplace experience through onsite and virtual platforms that blend concierge services, experience management and technology. We amplify building amenities, create memorable experiences, increase tenant well-being, and build lasting relationships for our partners. We serve more than 45 million square feet of space that ranges from commercial office buildings to mixed-use properties, private corporations and corporate campuses. For more information, visit www.simpliengage.com.