June 20, 2024

The Future of Work: Insights from Thru Shivakumar, CEO of Cohesion

Discover the future of office spaces in our latest webinar featuring Thru Shivakumar, CEO of Cohesion. From technology's transformative role to the shift toward new construction, explore how digital solutions and data-driven insights are reshaping workplaces post-pandemic. Join the conversation on creating efficient, modern work environments.

Shreya Bhatnagar

In our recent webinar, Thru Shivakumar, CEO and Co-founder of Cohesion, joined industry leaders to discuss the ever-evolving office market and technology's critical role in shaping the future or the workplace. The conversation spanned various topics, including the shift in demand towards new construction, the impact of technology costs on office space utilization, and the importance of data in driving efficiency and predicting future trends—so what is the future work?


The Changing Landscape of Office Spaces


Post-pandemic, the way we use office spaces has been fundamentally altered—the office markets reached a new stasis where comparing current trends to pre-pandemic levels has become increasingly irrelevant. Instead, the focus has shifted to understanding and implementing strategies that are working today.


Thru Shivakumar, founder and CEO of Cohesion, emphasized that office occupancy rates are settling into new patterns, with an average of about three days per week being the norm for in-office work. However, this varies significantly across industries. For example, finance sees peak day occupancies of about 80-85%, while consulting and legal organizations see lower rates.


Technology is the Ultimate Amenity


One of the key takeaways from the webinar was the critical role of technology in creating a seamless and efficient office experience. According to Shivakumar, technology amenities are the most utilized, with 62% of people using digital amenities compared to only 20% using physical amenities. This highlights the growing importance of digital solutions in enhancing workplace productivity and satisfaction.


Shivakumar also pointed out that landlords are increasingly acting as data partners for their tenants. By providing insights into space utilization, landlords can help tenants make informed decisions about their office footprints. This partnership is crucial as it allows for better planning and optimization of office spaces so tenants get the most out of their spaces, and landlords see leases renew and expand.


The Shift Towards New Construction


Phil Mobley, National Director of Office Analytics at real estate data provider CoStar, noted that demand is concentrating largely on new construction. This trend is driven by the need for modern office amenities that facilitate collaboration and provide a seamless work experience. New buildings are coming equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that older buildings lack, making them more attractive to tenants and employees.

However, this doesn't mean older buildings are being left behind. Shivakumar mentioned that the key lies in adopting technology to retrofit older spaces, making them competitive. The challenge is to position technology costs effectively, separating them from traditional operating expenses and presenting them as essential investments for enhancing workplace efficiency.


The Importance of Data


Data plays a crucial role in understanding and optimizing office space utilization. Shivakumar highlighted that landlords can provide valuable data on common space usage, parking, and building access. This information helps tenants understand their space needs better and plan accordingly. The use of smart building platforms that extend into tenant spaces can offer a holistic view of space utilization, making it easier to create a more efficient and productive work environment.


Tenants and Landlords Must Join Forces


The future of the office market is being shaped by a combination of technology, data, and new construction. Thru Shivakumar's insights underscore the importance of creating a seamless office experience through the integration of digital solutions. As the office landscape continues to evolve, the collaboration between landlords and tenants will be key in navigating these changes and creating spaces that meet the needs of modern workers.


For those interested in learning more about the future of office spaces and the role of technology, stay tuned for further discussions and webinars. The conversation is far from over, and continuous learning and adaptation will be essential in shaping the offices of tomorrow.


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