Why workplace experience platforms need the human element

By Shobhit Choubey / CBRE | August 16, 2019 8:30 AM SGT
The conversation around workplace changes has become somewhat passé. Across the globe, much has been written about a radical shift in the design and interpretation of the workplace. Equally, digitally driven solutions have made office flexibility a bigger reality. The rise of internationally embraced concepts like co-working, activity-based working and open-plan offices has created what is being referred to in some circles as the workplace’s “Uber moment”. These are all reasonable dicussions, which is not a negative thing, but the time has come to dig a little deeper.
Progress of this nature is clearly a sign of the times – a reflection of shifting demographics; a window into evolving corporate cultures, and the “mainstreaming” of flatter workplace hierarchies and practices. We, as an industry, fully embrace this dialogue.
However, one area that we find needs more discussion and debate is the human element in this new workplace. And this is where we find the development of next-generation employee experience platforms will bridge the gap between humans and technology, workplace and experience, convenience and employee-centric requirements.

The human element of service delivery

Providers of digital-tenant platforms have made considerable progress, but have never fully addressed how to connect said platforms with the human experience, within and outside the bounds of the workplace. True, recent years have seen the development of employee experience platforms in response to growing employee demand for technology-driven, hospitality-infused and inspiring workplaces.
CBRE's new office in San Francisco (Photos: CBRE)
While there now exists a wide range of digital platforms featuring technology capable of enhancing employee experience to some degree, many do not effectively leverage data to identify problem areas or proactively deliver the features and services end-users require. The common denominator here is the human element of service delivery, which has been neglected.
So wherein lies the answer? In our view, the next-generation workplace experience platforms must combine technology with advanced data strategies as a first step. They must provide best-in-class hospitality services to create a truly transformative and employee-centric workplace experience. And, perhaps most poignantly, operate through an understanding that technology alone cannot create a truly effective and employee-centric workplace experience.
The immediate answer...