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The Campus Effect: The Best Way To Create Office Experiences Tenants Demand


It’s a common frustration: You walk into the office, turn on your laptop and it won’t connect to the network. You try restarting; still nothing. What follows could be a long delay to your day, speaking to a tech support team while you miss important video calls and deadlines.

Avoiding this situation post-pandemic is becoming a more prevalent challenge for office space providers as companies increasingly choose to give employees the option of visiting a variety of locations. As a more flexible approach to workspace strategy comes into play, delivering connectivity continuity to tenants is of the utmost importance to landlords.

The answer is to create the campus effect, software and technology provider essensys CEO North America Jeremy Bernard said.

“The campus effect is where a landlord can activate a network of connected buildings and spaces across their portfolio so tenants can move seamlessly between them,” he said. “Companies want employees to be able to open a laptop and get to work without worrying about logging into different networks, security, or whether there will be complications in booking a meeting room. The campus effect is designed to meet the evolving demands of the hybrid work model.”

Plug In And Go

As demand for flexible space has increased, many landlords have been expanding their portfolios across cities, regions and even countries. While this expansion means taking more physical space, it also means extending a brand’s technological setup. This is where essensys steps in: providing enterprise-ready software and technology that office spaces need today, which also makes it easy for landlords to offer real estate flexibly.

For example, Bernard said, three years ago essensys started providing technology to Tishman Speyer’s flexible workspace brand Studio. Today, essensys connects 25 Tishman Speyer locations around the world. This is just a fraction of the 25M SF across 17 countries that essensys services, an amount that is growing rapidly as customers expand and landlords introduce and refine flexible offerings.

The success of these flexible office propositions boils down to how frictionless they can make the experience of using multiple locations for tenants, Bernard said. Using essensys’ technology, no matter which space within the portfolio a tenant walks to, all their devices will automatically connect to the network. This doesn’t just mean connecting to the internet, but to the company’s individual VLAN network — the equivalent of walking into a company’s HQ from a security perspective.

“Tenants generally have two big worries; that the experience is seamless, and that security is strong,” Bernard said. “Making sure every space is connected can be complicated, but what is infinitely more complicated is having a private VLAN network wherever you go. If office space providers don’t have a secure network, they won’t be able to provide that level of security to tenants. Tenants want more than just Starbucks WiFi.”


Making A Space Competitive

Bernard highlighted that this connectivity should be continual not just across different buildings, but within each area of a building. If a provider has a café or a roof terrace, for example, connectivity needs to be continued across these areas. If not, tenants won’t assign certain space any value, which will effect utilization and potential monetization of space.

“For a while, creating the best workspace was about including the latest amenity — a gym, outdoor space, common areas,” he said. “Those are still important, but more important is how we connect those spaces and the whole network. That’s going to be the difference between a good workspace offering and a great one; it enables landlords to distinguish themselves among competitors.”

Bernard highlighted that tenants are willing to pay more for a workspace with a high level of connectivity. Research carried out by Verdantix on behalf of essensys found that 70% of occupiers said they would pay a premium of 15% to 25% for flexible real estate that meets their technological expectations.

“We look at it as a win-win for landlords,” Bernard said. “Employers will pay a premium for space that meets their workforce needs, so a landlord not only remains competitive but can make more money, too. Meeting technological expectations is not ubiquitous today — it will become more common, but a landlord that can offer a seamless campus experience today will have the advantage. The return is there for those who make that investment.”

What an office space provider invests in today “will lay the foundations for what their portfolio will look like over the next five or 10 years,” Bernard said. To keep an eye on the future, essensys has created essensys Labs — a team focused on researching and developing the technology that landlords will need to adopt in the coming years.

The flexible space market is set to continue to grow as more employers aim to create working models that employees are seeking. Undoubtedly, technology will continue to be an essential part of creating office space that meets evolving occupier needs. 

This article was produced in collaboration between essensys and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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