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Tech for the Future of Work: Thinking Inside the Boxes

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How and where we work has permanently changed. To help adapt their operations, companies can tap into a flourishing number of workplace and technology solutions. Under the pressure of managing costs and pending lease expirations, 2023 is the time when executives will make choices and take action. According to JLL’s report Technology and Innovation in the Hybrid Age, by 2025, 78% of companies plan to incorporate over 10 of the 15 technology categories related to the future of work. 40% plan to incorporate all 15 categories. With this sharp increase of adoption in a short amount of time, companies will need to quickly decipher which technologies are best suited to their business needs. At JLL Spark, while we invest in solutions to assist our clients in every facet of their technology journey, the future of work is a main focus. Here we address the common challenges highlighted in the JLL report that companies are facing:

How can we collaborate effectively with a distributed team?  

IT infrastructure (i.e., the cloud, cybersecurity, etc.) and mobile devices are the foundation for success. Even though the software scene is dominated by big tech players and their generic collaboration tools such as file-sharing, co-editing, and task management, an increasing number of startups are offering industry specific solutions that facilitate hybrid work. In construction, for example, the OpenSpace platform enables all members of a project team to collaborate efficiently regardless of their location by sharing access to a 360-degree model of the job site. 

How can we maintain company culture and ensure inclusion for a dispersed workforce?

Multiple solutions can be leveraged by companies to support remote employees: HR management software, health and wellness platforms, learning and career platforms, or community tools. The toolbox is robust, but a consensus is emerging that there is something missing between onsite collaboration and “traditional” video conferencing. Startups like Proto, Shared Studios, and Google’s Project Starline are looking to fill that gap with immersive video conferencing solutions unlocking inclusive and engaging remote communication.

How can we upgrade the office to create an engaging experience for employees?

From hardware solutions like VergeSense for occupancy strategy to software leveraging artificial intelligence to manage energy efficiency like Hank, there is a fast-growing technology segment to help companies create healthy, sustainable, and engaging work environments. To transform these multiple solutions into a seamless experience for employees by integrating them into a single tenant experience, applications like HqO are becoming must haves.

Do we need more space, less space, flex space, and how can we manage all of them?   

Companies are trying to rightsize their portfolios but lack clarity on how their employees are going to utilize the workspace. They will still need to experiment and think inside the multiple boxes of working from home, coworking space, or in an office. These parameters will drive an increased need for flexibility and data for decision makers in their journey toward an optimized portfolio. Global workplace management solutions like Desana, UpFlex, LiquidSpace, and Deskpass, are in this category gaining rapid adoption. 

While the landscape for how we work has changed, technology provides a plethora of innovative solutions for companies to provide a better workplace for their employees, from in-person to fully remote, and JLL Spark is on the move to find these startups that best fit our clients’ needs. 

Written by Tanguy Quero, JLL Spark Investment Principal based in Paris

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