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How Revolutionary Technology is Changing the Office Search

30th December 2020

As the technological advancements continue to develop at a rapid rate, it is no surprise that we are beginning to see a similar trend impact the search for office spaces across the world.

Improvements of commercially available technology, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), has enhanced how office designers are able to visualise their creations. These methods have become increasingly popular in recent times and we can expect to see them used regularly in the future.

VR and AR, which have traditionally been used for entertainment purposes, have become increasing valuable tools for commercial property landlords, agents and tenants alike. Restrictions enforced by the COVID pandemic have prevented many business representatives from viewing potential new office spaces in person.

Thanks to the simulation experience created by VR, prospective tenants are still permitted to view a space whilst remaining in a safe environment. Furthermore, AR can help designers to position various office amenities in a space, through computer generated imagery, without physically having to be on site.

They also offer a different perspective on office spaces and allow a new type of user engagement through a simple process of using a computer, phone or headset.

The success of these technologies has helped minimise the risk incurred when visiting multiple sites during the pandemic. For some optimists, it will certainly be perceived as a step in the right direction to ensuring that the latest technology is implemented in other areas of real estate going forwards, as well as playing a major role in helping to define the ‘office of the future’.

Traditionalists may argue that these methods would undermine the requirement for an office agent, as VR will essentially let prospective tenants inspect spaces at their leisure. The one-on-one contact with an agent and physical viewing would therefore not be required. However, despite the recent advancements in this technology, one would assume that no definitive decision about committing to a property would be made without at lease one physical inspection.

Moreover, the use of VR and AR in commercial property is just one example and the tip of the iceberg of what could be used in the not-so-distant future. The recent completion of 22 Bishopsgate highlights some further examples of what technology we can expect to see in new office developments going forwards.

Ultimately, the need to implement relevant and useful technology for building occupiers, landlords and property professionals has been accelerated by the challenges of 2020 and, as some companies may opt to move employees back into their workspaces in the new year, it should continue to be an integral consideration into 2021.

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