New research charts the path for workplace technology in the Nordics

The latest research study by Nordic facilities firm Coor looks at the emerging technologies impacting buildings through the lens of employee experience, decision-making and building maintenance

Digital transformation is a hot topic in the commercial real estate world, but with such a diverse spectrum of technology on offer organisations are looking for guidance on where they should place their investments in digital infrastructure.

A new report by facilities management firm Coor called ‘Exploring technological trends in buildings and facility management’, examines how buildings have been affected by technological change in the past year and tracks the level of adoption and investment of emerging FM technologies within organisations in the Nordics.

The research is comprised of an in-depth survey of more than 400 real estate and facilities management professionals across Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The survey data was supported by expertise within Coor and independent trend analysis with experts in the WORKTECH Academy network.

At a time when hybrid working brings a degree of uncertainty to the workplace, the report finds that companies are looking to invest in technologies that offer them a high return on their investment and which they are confident will add value to their properties.

Three pillars of digital transformation

The report examines the technology trends impacting facilities management through the lens of workplace experience, decision-making, and building maintenance. The survey assessed the level of interest in new technologies and what technologies are foundational to digital transformation – these are termed ‘anchor technologies’.

Experience focuses on the technologies that are making the workplace a destination of choice. The survey identifies that the technologies perceived to have the biggest impact on employee experience are those that aim to increase individual productivity (e.g. workstation equipment, monitors, meeting technologies) and improve health and wellness such as visualising indoor air quality or the cleanliness of a space.

Decision-making looks at the technologies that produce data to drive informed decisions. The study highlights that three in five real estate and FM leaders believe that technology has a significant impact on their ability to make decisions. Three-quarters of respondents believe that the technologies that will have the greatest impact in this area focus on the office environment including lighting, air quality, and indoor climate.

The technologies that have the most impact on building maintenance focus on data-driven approaches to inform facilities management teams about potential repair or maintenance work. The survey reflects the fact that decision makers have a great deal of confidence in technologies for some areas of building maintenance, with more than 70 per cent of respondents ranking technology that improves energy efficiency as highly likely to have an impact in the next few years.

Key areas of growth

The report identifies four key areas of growth that are emerging in the digital transformation journey of Nordic organisations. These trends include:

The capability of AI: Although it is still an emerging field, AI’s ability to synthesise large data sets and make predictions about future behaviours or consequences will have ripple effects for the workplace experience, decision making and building maintenance.

Confidence in experimentation: Innovative approaches such as the use of BIM, digital twins, robotics and drones have the power to transform FM processes, but organisations need to adopt a more experimental mind set to unlock the potential value they can offer.

Reactive to predictive: Using an ecosystem of technologies and tools to collect data, organisations are enabling their FM teams to adopt a more data-driven – in some cases predictive – way of working and work more efficiently.

Reviving in-office working: Companies are investing in more technologies that can streamline the workplace experience, such as workplace apps which can be utilised to remove obstacles or inefficiencies and drive connection between employees.

As Nordic organisations look to take the next step on their digital transformation journey, this report offers critical insight into how building technologies are set to change the workplace today and in the near future.

The Coor survey was conducted in partnership with WORKTECH Academy. Read the full report, ‘Exploring technological trends in buildings and facility management’.

Coor is a Corporate Member of WORKTECH Academy
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