[#Futures of work]: Space rethought using the concept of experience
By Valérie Britay, Executive Director of Office Division.
On the occasion of MIPIM PROPTECH 2018, I participated in the "Customer experience: integrating tomorrow's demand & change" round table. This was an opportunity to share my perspective on the Futures of offices.
A new paradigm
With the advent of digital technology, the nature and ways of working have changed, as have our economy and society as a whole. Fragmented life trajectories, ATAWAD consumption, and permanent connectivity mean that today our relationship with space has changed. We speak of our working environment in terms of "ecosystems" and "networks", which reflect the notion of a more open office, freed of its physical confines.
And, as the figures on co-working remind us: worldwide, 1.27 million people currently work in co-working spaces (DeskMag 2018 survey).
This trend is even more palpable among millennials, who are shattering all management conventions: they favour collaboration, networking, centrality and the experience sharing. They are looking to engage in “active collaboration”.
For the real estate industry, this means designing hybrid developments, offering more flexibility to companies and adopting a service-oriented approach. This is what we mean by completely rethinking space using the concept of experience.
The User eXperience of the employee
It is about "putting oneself in the shoes of the employee", of the user in order to optimise their career path. The space inspired by the UX (i.e. User eXperience) design concept challenges real estate actors to build the customer journey in a phygital way, in other words at the intersection of these two worlds, the physical and the digital.
The user experience must reflect our changing cities (which are not rigid and have very open layouts) on the one hand, and on the other, must be suited to our new organisational models (collaborative, open innovation, enhanced outsourcing, etc.). Our offices are becoming fluid, porous and virtually autonomous ecosystems, whose interrelations are based on the network approach that we will be able to adopt thanks to digital technology, and the many services that will be on offer.
The customer journey, or when real estate draws its inspiration from retail
Thus, like in retail, the customer journey becomes the key to understanding new “itineraries” and anticipating customer needs. In real estate, the customer journey must extend from the student-tenant stage, to that of co-worker via that of employee. The idea being that we should be able to meet the needs of the various moments in a life.
In this view, Building Information Modelling (BIM), the digitalisation of spaces and the analysis and processing of data are essential to an all-encompassing vision enabling us to support this real estate journey across a lifetime. This is all the more important as millennials are not into ownership, but are surfing from one location to another, from one city to another looking for creative, 'turnkey' work and living environments.
At Gecina, our portfolio of tertiary real estate as well as of residential buildings and student residences, with their focus on central locations (centrality of the Paris central business district), offers a marvellous testing ground for setting up and providing a friction-free path between classic leases and shared leases.
Shared "common use" of premises, prioritisation on workstations, diversity of services and activities are building blocks in the new ecosystem that a property company like Gecina can provide. Perhaps these are the beginnings of a "BOS" (Building Operating System) model? In any event, property companies are becoming "service providers", with clients being transformed into "guests" embarking in a phygital universe.
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