Three things we learned from Accenture’s Michael Przytula: from our bonus podcast episode
“We have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine how people will work in the future.” – Michael Przytula, Managing Director of Intelligent & Digital Workplaces
As a permanent move to hybrid working pivots in the balance, how can landlords react and take charge of their spaces? How will asset owners and facility managers effectively strategize real estate management in the new post-Covid, WFH era?
At times like this, we need tips from the experts and who better to ask than Michael Przytula, Managing Director of Intelligent & Digital Workplaces at Accenture? Michael and his team help customers optimize their spaces for maximum efficiency, productivity, and longevity in the real estate marketplace. By developing maximum-potential workplaces, clients protect a space's market value, for longer.
Our own Michael Grant (COO at Metrikus), caught up with Michael at Accenture’s New York Innovation Hub, 1 Manhattan West, just before heading into WORKTECH22. We’ve boiled down the top three takeaways we learned from this exclusive one-off podcast.
Find out how to:
- Embrace hybrid strategically
- Delight building users with easy-to-implement innovation
- Bridge business and workforce needs with tech
1. Embrace hybrid strategically
The shift to employee-first decisions has already happened, with the workforce now deciding where best to work from. In order to activate workplaces and provide inviting, productive environments, workplace design needs to meet occupants' needs.
Accenture’s Digital Workforce Team approach all of their customer scenarios from an ‘outcomes and experience’ perspective by asking, ‘What are the things that the people that are coming in to consume the space need? How can we help them understand what is happening in a space and what we can implement to make their roles easier, more automated and more efficient?’
“Space needs to be more purposeful now. We have the opportunity to build more purposeful spaces and educate people about why we're building these spaces. If you build a space designed for the reason that someone would come in, they're going to come in and use it.”
By surpassing expectations when addressing the needs of every person using the building – from contractors to employees – processes will refine to the point of saving money while also attracting and retaining tenants. A user-first design benefits every stakeholder; with the right support, building owners and operators can plan space to suit exact usage. The potential to save on maintenance and energy costs and the insights to optimize square footage makes a compelling case for landlords. But the strategy goes further: by creating better environments and reacting to users’ needs, landlords/asset owners will enhance daily activities inside the building while providing powerful market differentiators.
2. Delight a building’s users
Events over the past two years have tipped our traditional relationship with the workplace on its head. Discussions have now formed around a general acceptance of hybrid across employees and organizations, with:
- 74% of US firms already using a permanent hybrid model or planning to implement one
- A majority vote of 83% in favor of hybrid work patterns from employees across the globe
- 63% of high-revenue growth companies embrace hybrid work
So, if hybrid working is here to stay, what is the future of the workplace?
If you’ve ever wondered who dreamt up the white-glove, high-touch experiences offered in today’s progressively designed offices, it's likely that digital workforce consultants have been hard at work. These teams enhance people’s experiences of a building and its operational efficiency through the use of technology.
“One of the key aspects now is how do we create office experiences where people actually enjoy working in the office. And it's become a really important factor in the return to the workplace.”
An example of this type of experience might be one device-for-all: a single device that gains a user entry to the building, their locker, bike stand, or any exclusive members’ area such as a gym. In short, one device could replace several objects and improve access to amenities, resulting in a better overall experience for humans.
Different scenarios call for different solutions, so it’s essential for workplace teams to fully understand how the building is used in the first place, to be able to remove pain points and improve user experience.
3. Bridge business and workforce needs with tech
In our post-covid world, companies are either encouraging everyone back to the office or left wondering how to manage square footage with unpredictable flows of occupancy.
While accurately understanding occupancy is arguably one of the most immediate post-covid challenges for landlords, it’s easily solved by the use of smart building technology to gain insights. But to build truly exceptional, activated workplaces, a Digital Workforce Team might give advice about:
- Where to automate building maintenance operations for efficiency and a seamless end-user experience
- Providing spaces that invite both community and productivity
- Innovating where possible to improve the human experience
"At our New York Innovation Hub, we’ve had the opportunity to build something special. The benchmark for the team needs to be if people leave here and say ‘I went to Accenture’s NY office and the views were amazing’ – we’ve missed the mark."