The coronavirus has turned the world on its head in countless ways. Everyone is adjusting to what’s now called the new normal, referring to the new ways we work, play and live. Among those changes is how proptech helps both renters and property managers navigate the evolving reality COVID has introduced. Leveraging proptech for the “new normal” is a competitive advantage and a necessity.
The Remote Workforce
Before COVID, the remote workforce was experiencing a steady rise. Once the pandemic hit, remote work, particularly from home, became the new norm. Because many jobs have either been permanently or indefinitely classified as full-time or part-time remote, families and roommates are finding new ways to cohabitate. Workers are finding new ways to work.
Proptech isn’t just about the building where workers are stationed. It’s about the experience the company can provide its workforce, no matter where they may be. This has left an opportunity for proptech to offer meaningful solutions. While there are best practices in place, there is space for residential-based proptech to reimagine remote work for dispersed teams.
Co-living is among some of the worst-performing asset categories a property owner can invest in, given the high-risk tenant demographic. However, in the expanding remote work model, proptech has a crucial role in stabilizing this demographic with reliable remote support.
The most immediate way proptech is offering solutions is in digital workflow tools, office furniture rental, and added security. Workers and their employers need digital security, reliable connectivity, and opportunities for communication and collaboration that will positively impact productivity and efficiency.
Some companies have already returned, albeit slowly, to in-person activities. Others are rotating their workforce between in-person and remote work to reduce in-person building occupancy. Proptech is facilitating this slow return to the workplace, along with reimagining the workplace for the new normal in the years to come.
The new in-person office experience is novel and requires communication and transparency. Health and safety are the new priority, above operational efficiency and productivity, for now. This is where proptech plays an increasingly important role. Health and safety need to coexist with, and support increased productivity while upholding a sense of trust and well-being among workers.
Data is paramount in these early days. Companies are adopting occupancy sensors to identify hotspots and improve office layouts responsively. Traffic patterns are being reimagined and reorganized to promote social distancing. And touchless technology, from elevators to doors, to faucets, and more, is being actively redesigned.
To minimize unnecessary movement throughout the building and potential exposure to the virus, proptech is bringing about cohesive platforms and apps that allow the input of work orders, offer food ordering, and facilitate other interactions.
Cleaning protocols are everyone’s responsibility these days, with proptech taking the lead on equipment, high-tech cleaning materials, and protocols. It’s not just about disinfectant. Proptech is bringing UV light into the mix along with HVAC systems that can clean the air rather than circulate particles.
Leveraging Proptech for the “New Normal”
There’s no doubt that real estate technology and proptech companies have a significant role to play in the current distributed state of the world. Rapid innovation is vital to keep up with the needs of both property managers and renters. Value is now measured against the new normal. Proptech is primed for the massive expansion in construction innovation and is actively building solutions for both property managers, renters, and the evolving needs of in-person and dispersed teams.