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Questioning the unquestionable: Building PropTech infrastructure for the hybrid future of work 

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Curioser and curioser. Alice’s description of the rabbit hole leading to Wonderland is an apt commentary of the return to office/work from home situation that we find ourselves in. Four years on from the start of the pandemic, we are in a type of wonderland where we are all wondering what the future of work looks like. 

From first principles, organizations want to thrive. Part of building an organization that will be successful is the culture you build, as well as having teams working together to meet objectives and serve customers. Until 2020, it was unquestioned that, particularly for knowledge workers, that would all happen in an office, or a set of offices. Post 2020, we need to understand if that is the best and only solution across all use cases. 

As investors in PropTech, we should be questioning the unquestionable in search of better solutions and superior returns. So, let’s imagine that while organizations have the same goals as before, there are other ways to reach those objectives, that don’t require all of us to be in the office at the same time every day of the work week. 

To create, sell, and maintain insanely good products and services that profitably scale at attractive price points, you need great teams that innovate rapidly and collaborate appropriately. If they are not all in the office all the time, how do you achieve that? Likely not via vanilla video conferencing that provokes fatigue, crosstalk, and inhibits free flowing discussion (the sort that is valuable when ideating for example). 

That’s why we invested in Noro (fka Shared Studios). Their large format portal allows free flowing conversation between people in each room, with a lifelike presence for seamless interactions. If like me you like to pace around, whiteboard, and wave your hands as you think, Noro’s got your back. And if you are someone in professional services, constantly on the road, Noro allows you to conduct more meetings more effectively, without the associated carbon footprint. 

Combine Noro’s solution with, say, Desana for flex office space, HqO to maximize the experience when you are in the office, SwiftConnect to get you in and out of all of your organization’s offices wherever you go by waving your smartphone, and VergeSense to deliver Occupancy intelligence, we believe you have the beginning of a tech stack that can help you deliver the right environment for your teams, and your company, to flourish, no matter how far down the rabbit hole we go. 

Written by Raj Singh, Managing Partner at JLL Spark

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