The Covid-19 health crisis had an unprecedented impact on the business world, especially with the massive appearance of home working . French companies had to adapt and reinvent their way of working. The Covid-19 has totally changed the corporate real estate and the French have taken a liking to the imposed home working and now prefer a better quality of life. They prefer to go back to the office less often in order to avoid traffic jams and hours lost in overcrowded public transports.
Home working and its limits
According to a survey conducted in May and June 2020 by Bureaux A Partager, 74% of the companies were home working , 20% of the companies mixed home working and face-to-face and 4% of the companies continued to go to the office every day. After this unexpected experience due to the health crisis, company managers would be ready to propose more home working to their employees, thus reducing the surface of their offices. The aim would be to save money, make rental contracts more flexible and reduce the number of workstations. However, two thirds of the respondents could not do without offices for three main reasons. The first is to maintain social ties, the second is to provide employees with a work-life balance and the third is to maintain the corporate culture.
Despite the positive aspects of home working, many constraints have appeared, burn-outs and management problems… Home working proves its limits: suppression of social interactions, loss of the feeling of belonging to the company, ergonomic problems and risk of disengagement on the long term.
The offices of tomorrow
Because of the crisis, offices will have to reinvent themselves in order to respond to the new needs of employees but also to mitigate the possible new crises to come. It is likely that work bubbles will multiply, as some employees have realized that working from home in silence allows them to increase their concentration and therefore their productivity. Nevertheless, working alongside colleagues improves creativity, spontaneity and allows for the exchange of ideas. This is why the creation of collaborative spaces remains important.
To meet these new needs, we need to rethink the building to allow for better management of movement and meetings within the office, offer flex-office, reduce open-space areas to favor areas dedicated to meetings, creations and presentations. And finally, to improve air quality and thus reduce the risks of transmission of viruses or future viruses.
Optimizing work spaces
Despite the crisis, investments in startups specializing in office space management and optimization have been estimated at 11 million euros in 2020, a growth of nearly 50% over the past three years. This growth can be explained by the provision of relevant and efficient solutions by these startups to support companies in the transformation of their post-covid offices.
At ENERGIE IP, we offer a Building Management System solution based on PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology. We propose to improve the occupant’s comfort thanks to a connected management of his workspace: a “My Energie IP” application to easily control his equipment such as blinds, lights and HVAC. For managers and business leaders, easy access to data collected through multi-sensors that detect presence, calculate the rate of CO2 in the air, the humidity level, and processed by our BOS (Building Operating System). The BOS represents the necessary link between a real building and its virtual twin, between a building and its data on the one hand, and services on the other. The objective of the BOS is to mutualize the flow of information between the sensors on the ground and the service applications.
Thus, the management of spaces can be facilitated by a better understanding of the occupants’ habits by their employers. Since our physical equipment is connected to its digital twins, we can propose a restructuring of spaces without even touching the false ceilings. If a meeting room is never or only minimally occupied, managers can decide to re-compartmentalize that space and transform it to meet the needs of the occupants.
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