Intuitive workplace technology is one of the best ways to increase business output and differentiate your space. But the reality is that a lot of offices just aren’t there yet. In many workplaces, there’s a wide gap between the sleek consumer devices that employees are used to and the clunky infrastructure they’re expected to adopt in-office.
Companies are trying to right their digital wrongs by putting more focus and budget toward better tech and stronger connectivity. Technology has become the largest and fastest growing item on the construction budget. A decade ago, IT costs made up 7% of a company’s interior construction budget. Now that figure can be upwards of 25% of the total buildout cost.
Though investments in technology are bigger, it’s still one of the least understood and poorly leveraged aspects of a buildout.
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During workplace planning, physical and technological design are traditionally completed as two separate activities. The office is designed and technology is installed, but neither considers how it impacts the other.
Leading companies are bridging this gap between design, architecture and IT to create a truly tech-enabled workplace.
What does a successful IT buildout look like? IT is a critical part of any workplace strategy. Here’s how to make it happen:
The new model of workspace planning integrates IT and workplace design at the start of a project. Don’t wait until the layout is finalized to select which technology will fill it. Available solutions may change how you organize the space. Determine how employees work and how each space will be used to select the solutions that will support the user. The object of early collaboration is to eliminate reactive IT—or at least significantly minimize it.
The best IT projects don’t focus on the technology itself. Rather, they focus on the tasks and teams that will be using them. As you embark on a workplace improvement, forget brands, manufacturers and popular new gadgets. Select only the solutions and services that support the people, processes and strategies important to your company.
Parts and installation are only one portion of an IT investment. A successful modern IT construction budget incorporates costs associated with the lifespan of the implementation. From pre-design research to training, communications and post-implementation changes, a comprehensive IT budget greatly increases a project’s success.
Technology has a critical impact on workplace success. More than ever, the quality (and timeliness) of our work depends on the ease and efficiency of the tools we use to complete it. Any workplace project has the power to reinvigorate an organization. Early attention to IT is what turns a renovation into a transformation and provides the greatest return on investment.
Christian Beaudoin, Managing Director, Research
Advising the world’s largest organizations and providing insights on real estate strategy and operations.