Office and retail space needs to be adaptable to stay safe and relevant. Employees no longer need to fill office space, and retail premises can save on overheads by transferring their business to a largely online presence. So how can proptech help keep physical spaces useable and profitable?
Owners of office space will need to consider how the Internet of Things can help their tenants ensure that their workplace is safe for visitors and employees. The “Test & Trace” QR code to check-in to buildings is now widely used, and is just the start of digital interaction we are likely to continue to have. Contactless sensors, Covid-tracking, and real time data about the occupancy of the building and ventilation systems will be a higher priority for tenants than they were before the pandemic. To deliver flexible and short term space, property and facilities management software is becoming increasingly essential. This data can also be used to plan a route to achieve sustainability targets, another factor which is becoming increasingly important to all consumers.
Retail will also need to adapt. Just 4% of proptech companies focus on the retail sector. Experience-based retailing is high on the agenda, but in order to do this in the post-Covid landscape, it will need to be safe for consumers. We may expect more “pop-up shops” aided by online booking systems and digital shop displays, to allow local business to book retail space. The flexibility of this space means shops can be open for trading for a few hours to a few weeks, which can only be a good thing for the nation’s high streets.
For those with the budget for the initial investment, proptech for safety, adaptability and sustainability will surely be high on the agenda.