Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 12

4. Conversational interface support

Technology with voice- and text-driven interactions—often supported with natural-language processing—eliminate data entry steps and help users navigate workplace challenges more efficiently. The same conversational interface can be used to drive service requests, point users to relevant company policies and FAQs, and create more inclusive internal communications for the visually impaired.

Employees are already increasingly familiar with conversational voice and text interactions due to the rising popularity of consumer digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Employers can make the workplace experience even more user-friendly by deploying technology solutions that offer a similar interface.

Organizations across every industry are already investing to modernize workplace experience

Corporate real estate teams across the country recognize the need for powerful tools to help their employees thrive in a hybrid workplace environment—one where employees have significantly different motivations for coming into the office than they did when doing so was the status quo.

That’s why leaders across multiple industries are approving new investments in property technology. Consider the survey response highlighted in the 2021 Forrester Consulting study commissioned by JLL, “Return-to-Office Sparks the Need for Corporate Real Estate Technology, Data, and Insights”:

“Firms are investing now. Respondents are not waiting to get the help they need. They plan to invest in tools such as occupancy sensors and analytics, space-planning management, wayfinding, touchless technologies, and air quality within the next six months.”

There’s no doubt that many of these investments have been fast-tracked in response to the impact of the pandemic. However, limiting the scope of these proptech upgrades to simply getting the workplace “back to normal” is a waste of a major opportunity.

Instead, leadership should consider how the same technology that allows employees to rethink their relationship with the in-office experience could also future-proof their workplaces.

The acceleration toward a more tech-driven workplace experience

There are two compelling trends that reflect changing expectations for the workplace. These shifts were accelerated by COVID-19 and are being solidified by changing employee preferences and expanding access to innovative technology.

First, in a historically tight labor market, effective talent retention and recruitment are even more dependent on creating a dynamic, hybrid-friendly workplace experience. Second, the C-suite and decision-makers are now more open to investing in technology to make strategic workplace upgrades a reality than in the past.

Organizations have an opportunity to recognize these evolving realities to help their operations become more efficient, productive, and—as a result—resilient. Employee expectations about the workplace have already begun to shift. The question is: How long it will take for those responsible for managing the workplace experience to respond?