Tech gap gives weight to low office-occupancy data

Tech gap gives weight to low office-occupancy data

A new national report has revealed that a lack of adequate office technology is impacting office occupancy in Australia, with 86% of Australians reporting an office tech gap.

At a time when commercial occupancy rates across the country remain stubbornly low, the report delves into how Australian office worker expectations are changing in a digital-first, hybrid work environment and how this impacts their office attendance.

Next Flex: Technology for the next generation Australian office, which surveyed 1,000 office workers across the country, was launched by essensys, a leading global provider of software and technology for the commercial real estate industry, in partnership with Flexible Workspace Australia.

The report’s critical findings highlight a lack of adequate tech is a key factor in people deciding to work from home or an alternative third space, with more than four in five respondents (86%) reporting a disparity between the existing technology in their office and what they need to enable them to do their jobs efficiently.

Key findings show enhancing technology in the workplace is integral to supporting Australia’s modern workers, especially when it comes to Millennials and Generation Z:

  • 85% of survey respondents, especially workers under 41, want to work in a flexible workspace near their homes, at least as much as their primary offices
  • 57% of Australian office workers say that their office is not equipped for a flexible, seamless, agile work experience
  • More than 2 in 5 (41%) feel simple tasks take too long in the office due to the standard of their in-office technology
  • More than 90% of Millennials and Generation Z employees experience a gap between the technology currently offered in their office and what’s needed to do their jobs effectively.

The report also found that certain types of technology would entice nearly 70% of workers back to the office. 

Portfolio-wide digital experiences, such as building-wide WiFi, ability to access space and services across a network of locations and a mobile app to interact with amenities are among the tech tools that would enhance workers’ in-office experience.

essensys provides commercial real estate owners and flexible workspace operators with the software and technology that connects, controls and automates the provisioning of digital services, which APAC CEO Eric Schaffer said was crucial in delivering future-ready workspaces.

“An office building is no longer just a physical proposition, but a service offering that includes portfolio-wide digital experiences. This report highlights that there is a gap between what office workers expect and need to maximise productivity, and what commercial offices are currently offering,” Mr Schaffer said.

“Creating technology-enabled, future-focused spaces will play a pivotal role in attracting workers back to the office amidst the current hybrid working norm.”

Flexible Workspace Australia co-chairperson Brad Krauskopf echoed this sentiment.

“The Australian office market is undergoing a transformation,” he said.

“Flexible real estate is becoming a core part of workplace strategy as leasing velocity comes under pressure following the pandemic.

“This report shows workplace redesign and tech-enabled real estate is an immediate priority for business leaders in the next 24 months. With this seismic shift in how occupiers consume real estate, it’s fair to say flex is here to stay – and technology is central to its success.”

essensys has more than 16 years of specialist industry experience globally, with customers such as Tishman Speyer, JLL, Industrious and Hines. The company continues to support its customers in adapting to evolving occupier requirements and expectations around flexibility and hybrid working.

View the full report here: Next Flex: Technology for the next generation Australian office