What does the office of the future look like?

How should you strategically align your workspace to the new reality?

Do you have the right tools and resources to address the needs of your workforce in a post-Covid-19 environment?

These were just some of the important questions addressed in a recent webinar hosted by Trimble Real Estate and leading professional services network, PwC.

With companies around the world urgently seeking solutions to the challenges now facing their business’s needs, real estate footprint and workforce strategy, we teamed up with PwC to deliver a live webinar on the topic of return to the office.

In the webinar, workplace experts Katherine Huh, who leads PwC’s occupier services team within the real estate practice, and Simon Blenkiron—our global partner director, products and technology—provided analyses on how the pandemic has added a new impetus to real estate decision-making.

Watch the webinar recording here

Katherine revealed that, for some organizations, the pandemic had created “a unique opportunity to reframe the way that they think about real estate, the workplace, how people work, and how technology is able to support that effort”.

Office of the future space management

Katherine said that many of PwC’s clients had found that productivity actually increased during lockdown because employees were able to get “a bit more into a day” with the reduction of commuting times. As a result, more organizations were now asking themselves: “How do we pivot our business to being a bit more virtual?”.

The webinar identified four main types of workers:

  • Full-time office workers
  • Team workers (who can do much of their work remotely)
  • Wanderers (in the office between 30% – 60% of the time)
  • Rovers (rarely in the office).

The webinar then addressed the question: What technology is actually needed for each of these types of worker to do their job efficiently and productively?

Trimble’s Simon Blenkiron said organizations should be looking into the next-generation technology that is now available to track both occupancy and utilization of their buildings. 3D modelling can help them design their way back to a Covid-secure workplace, he said. And sensors will play an important role in creating ‘well’ spaces in the new workplace.

On rethinking office portfolios in the post-Covid world, Simon explained he had drawn on 20 years of challenging organizations to transform the way they optimize their real estate. He said: “Organizations now need to look at the new target density for different types of personnel, apply cost numbers and determine whether it is possible to bring down real estate costs.”

He added: “Space planners and strategists must remain agile and above all responsive. We’ve got to help migrate the office from what it was, to what it needs to be.”

To watch the full webinar recording, please visit: go.trimble.com/pwc-office-of-the-future-webinar

With Covid-19 forcing companies around the world to rethink how their offices will function when employees start to return to work, our friends over at Trimble SketchUp have highlighted six modelling and design steps that organizations can take to plot their journey back to a Covid-safe workplace. Here’s a summary…

Step 1: Create a 3D model of your workplace to help you understand its capacity

How 3D modelling can help you design your way back to a Covid-secure workplace 3d model

All you need to get started is a CAD plan or just an image of your workspace, say the SketchUp team. And they should know. SketchUp is the fastest and easiest-to-use tool for creating a 3D model and collaborating on it remotely with your team. SketchUp even provides an online guide to boosting CAD to 3D workflow, as well as ‘Skill Builder’ videos showing architectural modelling tips.

Step 2: Populate your model with accurate 3D assets

Once the digital model of your office is ready, you can make it look more accurate and representative of the actual space by adding furniture, equipment and other assets. You can avoid having to model items from scratch by using SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, a digital library which contains over 4.5 million pre-built assets to suit any type of office setting.

Step 3: Optimize your space for the new social distancing norm

How 3D modelling can help you design your way back to a Covid-secure workplace optimize

Customize your 3D model by using SketchUp Extensions to add functionalities that suit your specific modeling needs—including optimizing your workspace for safe distancing. You can also take advantage of cool ideas on how to rearrange furniture to fit the latest social distancing guidance.

Step 4: Get consensus for the new layout

After months of working remotely, your team might find it hard to adapt to the new office environment. You can help everyone become familiar with the new layout by uploading and sharing your 3D model with them via Trimble Connect. This will give your team an opportunity to comment on the model and voice any concerns. 

Step 5: Turn your updated 3D model into floor plans

Once your team gives you the green light, it takes only seconds to turn your 3D model into a 2D floorplan using LayOut, a tool that can generate drawings to scale and add annotations, dimensions or tags. The 2D document stays dynamically connected to the 3D model so any 3D changes are automatically reflected in your 2D drawings. Your LayOut document can then be shared as a PDF, DWG or an on-screen presentation.

Step 6: Design and deploy your operational plan

How 3D modelling can help you design your way back to a Covid-secure workplace real estate

Space layout is just one of many things that need to change to keep your team safe. Splitting your workforce into groups and managing logistics and services are equally important operational considerations. 

As you may know, the real estate group at Trimble has the technology to help organizations optimize workspace utilization and the management of people in the post-Covid workplace. We can help with:

  • Capacity and distancing planning: Auto-apply your physical distancing protocols to existing floor plan layouts and calculate the maximum capacity
  • Staff rotation to de-densify space: Efficiently split your teams into groups and formalize a rotating schedule.
  • Deploy, track, audit: Track the effectiveness and safety of the ‘new normal’.
  • Dynamically schedule space: Use our space scheduling software to empower employees to decide where they can sit safely.

You can read the full article—titled “Design Your Way Back to the Office”—on the SketchUp blog.

If you have an immediate need to address the unique workplace planning and management challenges created by Covid-19, please contact the Trimble real estate team at realestate@trimble.com for a demo or more information.