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[Article] Dinesh Malkani, CEO of Smarten Spaces on PodChats for FutureCIO: Reimagining the workplace in the post-COVID-19 era

One of the characteristics of the workplace of 2020 has been the lack of people in the office. COVID-19 saw a significant proportion of businesses adopt remote work in support of efforts to contain the pandemic.

Is there a better way, a smart way for businesses to organise their workforce so that they can optimise fixed assets like facilities?

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) forecasts that “upwards of 40% of today’s office assets need some form of enhancement to stay relevant.” The JLL report, Home and away: the new workplace hybrid?, suggests that during the COVID-19 period, 68% of employees were working from home.

FutureCIO spoke to Dinesh Malkani, founder and CEO of Smarten Spaces, how COVID-19 is forcing organisations to reimagine the workplace.

Smarten Spaces has built technology and platform to make smarter and better use of workspaces. Malkani acknowledged that technology penetration in space management remains low although the pandemic may be changing that.

Sundar Nagarajan, head of Consulting at JLL, noted that the pace of digitization and adoption of automation in 2020 has accelerated businesses to 2023-2024 levels right away, adjusting decision-making and way of working – all in the name of revenue.

Malkani noted that the shift to a hybrid model of work is not entirely driven by COVID-19. Organisations have been studying this opportunity even before that. He did acknowledge that many such discussions floated around experimentations. He credits the pandemic as proving that it is possible to sanction work from anywhere without sacrificing productivity or risking security.

“Companies have been moving in the direction of being able to work from anywhere – in the office, co-working space, or home, in what we now classify as hybrid work strategies,” he concluded.

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