Japan’s Fujitsu has been reported to have said in the press that it would halve its office space in three years as it rewrites the way employees work under a “new normal”.

That’s a big change and in any organization, particularly in times of contraction when it can lead to difficult decisions.

In a recent article by our resident writer, Nancy Sanquist, she explored the 5 Ps of data-driven decision-making every leader should focus on for overhauling their work and welfare frameworks, and be able to measure the impact during these accelerated times of change.

Read full article ‘Resilient Decision Making in Times of Change’

With work patterns and employee attitudes changing as a result of the COVID pandemic, it is clear organization’s will need access to accurate and reliable data to underpin the critical decisions they’ll have to make about the size, shape, healthiness, and new business requirements of their portfolio for the more ‘elastic’ workplace of the future.

Tracking performance and metrics for the following five categories will help businesses shape the future of their real estate.

  1. People: Health and safety of employees returning to the workplace. 
  2. Profit. Costs of providing both physical and digital workspaces. 
  3. Place. Value of investing in ‘healthy buildings’.
  4. Planet. Energy consumption and efficiency.
  5. Programs. Corporate social responsibility.

Nancy highlighted that the real value in data from the five Ps lies in analyzing key performance indicators across time. This will enable organizations to establish benchmarks that uncover patterns and yield deep insights into changes that will best benefit their business in the long-term, such as, whether to downsize or transform office space to meet the changing demands of their workforce.

Read full article ‘Resilient Decision Making in Times of Change’

Gathering and analyzing all of this valuable data requires collaboration between FM, CRE, HR, IT, and Finance teams. And they’ll need a centralized place to store the data—such as a flexible and secure real estate management system like Trimble’s ManhattanONE.

ManhattanONE can bring building, workforce, and workspace information together into a single source of truth—then serve the data back to decision-makers in various formats for a real-time, comprehensive view of utilization, capacity, lease expirations, energy consumption, and total cost of occupancy of each building.

It can do this because ManhattanONE is a truly holistic integrated decision platform that has been designed to deliver the deep operational and financial insights organizations need to allow them to innovate more freely and define new ways to work.To learn more about how you can leverage our ManhattanONE technology for operational and strategic real estate portfolio management, please contact us to book a demo or post your questions to us here.

What’s on everybody’s mind these days? Sustainability—a term that has finally surpassed vogue and has become an essential necessity

Concerns of a rapidly growing carbon footprint and the work environment changes brought on by COVID-19 are inspiring innovation in many industries, and real estate is no exception.

With the current global pandemic, COVID-19 has undeniably changed the importance of sustainability within business. It is now no longer an option for businesses to ignore the changes in both climate and society.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, buildings consume 40% of all energy consumed in the United States. Globally, buildings comprise 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

To mark the start of ‘World Green Building Week’ (21 – 25 September 2020) we have collected examples of architects in the past that are leading the charge of reimagining sustainable building designs to meet these evolving demands. By implementing new ways of thinking and technologies, these sustainable offices consume less energy, perform better over time, and provide healthier working environments.

Without any further ado, let’s take a look at our top 10 most sustainable building designs:

1. The Edge – Amsterdam

Designed by PLP Architecture in London, the Edge is a leap for sustainable architecture. Boasting 28,000 sensor “smart” ceilings that measure motion, light, temperature, and humidity, workers are able to use smartphone applications to control blinds, lighting, and temperature. The lighting consists of ultra-efficient LED panels that only need a small amount of electricity, and 4,100 square meters of The Edge’s roof is covered with solar panels.

The Edge

But that’s not all—toilet flushing and plant watering is supported by water from the building’s rainwater harvesting system.

The Edge has proven itself to the critics, earning the highest BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) score in history. The BREEAM test is the standard tool to measure a building’s sustainability.

2. Bullitt Centre – Seattle

Commissioned as the Bullitt Foundation’s headquarters, the 50,000 square foot Bullitt Center has passed the sustainability and performance standard set by the Living Building Challenge. The 6-story building features five aerobic composters, allowing for efficient treatment of human waste and eliminating odors.

Bullitt Centre - Seattle

Just like The Edge, Bullitt Center has composting toilets and a rainwater harvesting system that can filter and collect 56,000 gallons. On the building’s rooftop, there are photovoltaic panels installed that are able to produce 230,000 kilowatt hours a year—enough to cover the building’s annual energy consumption.

3. Shanghai Tower – Shanghai

This stunning skyscraper is the second tallest building in the world, right behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The building’s unique curved shape helps its wind resistance, while a double skin façade provides robust and durable insulation.

Shanghai Tower

Among the 43 sustainable technologies incorporated in this office design are landscaping techniques that help cool the tower and renewable energy sources.

4. BMW – Munich

BMW Welt is an aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient building that applies sustainability to the production of cars. The building was designed with five thematic blocks: Double Cone, Tower, Hall, Premiere, and Forum to create a versatile space that suits a variety of business needs. 

BMW Welt

With the design of the BMW Welt, Architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au accomplished a monumental feat: the combination of complexity and sustainability. With solar-heating, natural ventilation generated by wind pressure and thermal currents, BMW Welt has set a new sustainable standard that the auto industry increasingly embraces.

You can’t measure what you can’t manage. Read our solution eGuide on how to ‘monitor and measure your green impact

5. Etsy – New York

Etsy embraced The Living Building Challenge, designing their headquarters with 60% locally-sourced materials, and exclusively using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood. Further, construction efforts included sustainable waste removal by donating excess to other building projects in the area.

Etsy New York

The e-commerce company opted to place workspaces near windows, leveraging natural light to save energy that is provided from the 12-kW solar power system on Etsy’s roof.

6. Upcycle

UpCycle reimagined a former vacant and graffiti-covered recycling center in Austin, Texas with the environment in mind. New installations include skylights and a ventilation system that lessens the need for air conditioning. 

Upcycle

The rest of the renovation was completed using materials found on-site, supplemented by excess materials used in other projects. The process saved an estimated 1824 metric tons of CO2.

7. Bahrain World Trade Center

Bahrain’s World Trade Center has three sky bridges that each hold 225kW wind turbines. This design element takes care of 15% of the building’s energy needs. 

Bahrain Trade

The turbines echo traditional Arabian wind towers, which is a subtle blend of sustainability and cultural preservation. The building further uses energy-efficient lighting, reflective pools, glass as shading, and concrete flooring to enhance sustainability.

8. The Crystal, UK

This chart topper has earned great scores after BREEAM and LEEDs Platinum building assessments.

The Crystal

The Crystal is 90% water self-sufficient, features ‘insulation glazing,’ and has both solar and thermal roof panels supplementing its energy needs.

9. Vancouver Convention Center West, Canada

With a fish habitat, green roofing, and a heating/cooling system powered by sea water, the Vancouver Convention Center West is a remarkable structure when it comes to sustainability.

Vancouver Trade

With an on-site water treatment facility and a heavy emphasis on recycling, this building uses the ecosystem of its surroundings to sustain itself, while staying out of its way.

10. Siemens Headquarters – Munich

Siemens completed the construction of their new headquarters in 2016. They ushered in a new era for the company, with a narrowed focus on sustainability. The building was designed with sustainable construction materials and inclined facades, which deflect light far into the building.

Siemens

The roof features photovoltaic panels, and the building’s gardens and toilets are supplied by water from their rainwater harvesting facility.

Conclusion

Feeling inspired after seeing some of the world’s finest sustainable building designs? Improve your building sustainability with Trimble Real Estate’s ManhattanOne – a solution for helping organizations achieve their carbon neutral goals.

With the energy consumption of buildings now seen as a leading cause of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the Corporate Real Estate sector is under mounting pressure as governments around the world introduce regulations that require property owners and occupiers to take more effective climate protection measures.

ManhattanONE’s Sustainability module has been designed to help organizations make informed, data-driven decisions to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions.

Give your team the software they need to meet the challenges of capturing, tracking, measuring and benchmarking your green data, learn more here.

Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, a permanent shift may be happening in office culture. Many companies have shifted to exclusively working remotely, and according to PWC, 72% of workers say they’d like “the option to work remotely at least 2 days a week,” even after it’s safe to return to the office.

But how can you set yourself up for success in this new work environment? Let’s discuss some of the basics of the new way of working, challenges facing different working options, and ways you can manage them to maintain your company culture in a new work environment.

Understanding the New Ways Of Working

In-office work was the predominant mode of work for decades – but that’s changing. Today, remote and hybrid work is becoming much more common. This is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, but this shift was beginning even before this.

For example, in 2019, 42% of workers over the age of 25 with an advanced degree worked from home at least once. In the “new normal,” it seems likely that most businesses will adopt a hybrid model that involves both working remotely and coming into the office when necessary.

The Challenges of Different Working Options

In-office work, hybrid work, and remote work all pose different challenges. In-office work requires workers to commute – and to live somewhere near a physical office location. It also is more expensive, since you have to pay to rent out an office building.

Remote work has different challenges. It can be harder to manage remote workers and ensure productivity, and to create a cohesive team culture. Workers often report feeling more isolated and lonely when working from home.

The hybrid model combines some of these challenges. Workers get the benefits of both working in an office and working remotely – but managing the days that workers come in can be a struggle, and a hybrid model still requires your workers to live near a physical office location.

“Learn how to integrate remote working in a future workplace model by watching our webinar co-hosted with Deloitte titled ‘Back to Business: An essential guide for reopening the workplace

Managing Different Working Options

So, how can you manage the new work environment? Whether you are working in an office, remotely, or with a hybrid model, there are a few great steps you can take.

Daily check-ins are a great step. Having managers check in with each of their direct reports each day ensures that your employees are organized and are prepared for their daily tasks.

Defining clear working hours is also important – expecting both remote and in-office workers to respond to messages between normal office hours, for example, helps reduce frustrations related to miscommunication and unresponsiveness.

It’s also important to measure performance differently. With a hybrid model where some people work from home, you can no longer focus on just tracking how long an employee works at their desk – but you need to concentrate on assessing their overall productivity and their quality of work.

Maintaining Company Culture Within A New Work Environment

One of the hardest parts of a remote work environment is maintaining a strong corporate culture. Here are a few tips you can use to help maintain your culture in a remote or hybrid working model.

  • Communication – Encourage constant communication between employees and their managers to ensure they can always contact the people they need to speak to, and speak freely about their projects, and any issues they may be encountering.
  • Flexibility – It’s important to recognize that hybrid and remote work is inherently different than in-office work, and provide your employees with more flexibility to ensure they work to their full potential.
  • Activities – You can ask hybrid workers to come into the office for special events – like team dinners, corporate Christmas parties or birthday parties – or organize online-only events for remote workers. Take every opportunity you can to do fun activities with in-office, hybrid, and remote workers to build camaraderie. A couple of options you can adopt are virtual break rooms or fitness challenges. Virtual break rooms or coffee time can be set up to encourage casual conversation normally conducted on the office floor. At Trimble, we compete on step counts across teams, all across the world. This encourages not only fun rivalry, but it also boosts wellbeing.
  • Rewards – Make sure you reward remote and in-office workers fairly, and avoid favoring one type of worker over another. This can lead to an unhelpful “us vs. them” mentality between remote and in-office employees.
  • Acknowledgment – Always acknowledge good work publicly, and recognize employees who have gone above and beyond the line of duty. Public recognition is a powerful way to build loyalty, and leads to more engaged, effective employees.

Manage the New Work Environment more Effectively with these Tips!

The new hybrid work environment can be challenging. But with these tips on managing remote, in-office, and hybrid workers, you can take on this challenge, overcome it, and ensure your workers remain happy and productive. 

To learn more about how you can leverage our real estate and workplace technology to help your organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond please go here or contact us to book a demo.