Daily Digest News – June 9, 2021

Daily Digest June 9

Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Could Holograms Curve Zoom Fatigue?

Companies are exploring new methods of communicating in a way that helps eliminate Zoom fatigue. This desire for an advanced approach to connecting workers has been echoed across organizations such as Google and WeWork, and it may be reality sooner than expected.

Holograms in the workplace may seem far-fetched, but Google recently revealed details about Project Starline, its effort to create a video-chat system that gives participants a three-dimensional experience.

Additionally, WeWork announced a partnership with hologram technology firm ARHT Media Inc. to incorporate holograms across 100 of the coworking company’s buildings.

“There’s Zoom fatigue, there’s a lot of friction to being on video all day—it is exhausting,” said Brianne Kimmel, founder and managing partner of WorkLife Ventures, a venture-capital firm that focuses on future of work technologies. 

Companies had been experimenting with the idea of holograms prior to the pandemic, but the past year or so has accelerated the need for this type of technology. Using holograms, companies are hoping to improve new hybrid arrangements.

Still, this advanced technology has limitations. According to Kanishka Chauhan, a principal research analyst at Gartner, most workplace holograms are best used for recorded events, training sessions or seminars.

Credit: Bigstock

Understanding Cognitive Bias When Planning New Work Policies

Google recently walked back on its efforts to bring all employees back to the office, while Apple employees wrote out a letter to executives opposing its new hybrid work arrangement.

This is just two examples of the backlash that companies have faced in recent months over their less-than-progressive post-pandemic workplace strategies. These efforts are curious, as multiple surveys from this year have shown that a large portion of employees want to continue working from home at least half of the week.

However, many organizations are still trying to push employees to return to the office for most or all of the work week.

Despite these unpopular choices leading to workers leaving their positions and hindering productivity and engagement, leaders keep trending towards what makes them feel most comfortable. This is largely due to cognitive biases that sways their business decision-making skills. 

By understanding these biases, leaders can make better choices that benefit their employees and the company.

For starters, the desire to return to what they perceive as appropriate or normal is referred to as status quo bias. Many leaders have spent the majority of their careers working around people in an office, so learning that employees may want to continue working remotely is jarring.

Although data has indicated that working from home is preferred by several employees, confirmation bias keeps leaders from accepting this reality. Instead, they seek information that confirms their beliefs that workers want to return to the office for the majority of the time.

Credit: Canva

Technology Is Crucial For The Future Of The Workplace

Unispace’s survey of over 2,000 senior real estate and IT professionals in Europe found that remote workplace technology is twice as important as workplace testing.

According to the workplace creation specialist’s survey, 40% of respondents said they expect more technology to emerge in the post-pandemic workplace, with 34% anticipating a new office layout in the future.

“Technology is important, but the future of the workplace is focused on putting people first. Tech will be a big draw for new candidates and has an important role to play in connecting those working remotely and creating a workplace that enables employees to be more productive,” said Stuart Finnie, regional director of design at Unispace. “But decisions about technology in the workplace must be centred on how employees will use and benefit from it, rather than the technology driving these decisions.”

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    Finnie added that technology can play a significant role in boosting collaborative opportunities and data collection that helps leaders improve their workplace strategies. However, technology shouldn’t be seen as the one-size-fits-all solution, but rather as a support in the future of the workplace.

    Credit: Bigstock

    Common Acquires Bay Area Coliving Firm’s Portfolio

    Coliving firm Common is taking over Starcity’s assets and slowing down the brand as the industry continues to see consolidation.

    Common will acquire the Bay Area-based company’s management contracts, but not its land or development assets. This will expand Common’s footprint by 1,000 units, bringing the firm’s total portfolio to 7,000 units under management and 27,000 in development.

    “We’re not developers,” said Brad Hargreaves, CEO of Common. “We’re focused on tech, design and management.”

    Recently, Common took over the management of the 419-unit coliving property Alta located in Queens. Starcity also acquired coliving firm Ollie last year, which will now belong to Common as part of their deal.

    While the company will focus on housing, Hargreaves indicated that the increase of remote working in the future will alter the design and operations of Common facilities moving forward.

    Credit: Common

    Spaces Opens First Estonia Location

    IWG has opened its first Spaces location in Estonia, located in the country’s capital of Tallinn.

    Spaces Rotermann is situated in the corporate hub and is surrounded by restaurants, food markets, public transport, IT and gaming businesses. 

    This location is the company’s largest office space in Tallinn, stretching nearly 30,000 square feet that features a terrace, breakout areas and parking.

    To abide by Covid-relaed protocols, Spaces Rotermann allows employees to use the center’s virtual office. It also focuses on eco-friendly-centric design with recycled materials and adjustable furniture.

    “I’m delighted to announce the opening of our first Spaces in Tallinn, and in such a vibrant and well-connected part of the capital,” said Gareth Haver, CEO Central & Eastern Europe, IWG. “Spaces Rotermann is primely positioned to create a working environment that spurs productivity and wellbeing thanks to superb transport links and a breadth of retail stores and amenities nearby.”

    Credit: Spaces

    Sublease Space Is Being Pulled From Manhattan Offices

    Since the start of the pandemic, 19.3 million square feet of gross sublease space has been put on the Manhattan office market. Sublease space accounts for 26% of all available space as of the beginning of June.

    Although sublease space has increased, it is still below the amount that was put on the market during the Great Recession in the late 2000s.

    “A flood of sublease space tends to be a drag on the market, causing the availability rate to rise and dragging down pricing, since sublessors often price their space at a discount to landlords’ direct space offerings,” according to CBRE. “For this reason, trends in the sublease market are considered a bellwether for the overall market performance and changes in the momentum of the sublease market are closely monitored.”

    CBRE has indicated that the tides are turning in Manhattan as sublease additions slow and workers return to the office.

    This year, 2 million square feet of sublease space has been taken off the market, and more than half of that amount happened in April and May as vaccination efforts ramped up.

    Credit: Canva
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