Honeywell helps workers return to offices

  • July 13, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Honeywell has launched a suite of occupant experience apps to help owners and tenants in premium commercial buildings unlock hybrid office spaces.

Features analyse occupant behaviour and space use patterns to improve the comfort, convenience and collaboration of workers, putting more control in their hands as they return to the office post-pandemic. The suite identifies areas to enhance the occupant experience while improving communication between building owners, tenants and occupants.

Remote work is here to stay, but many employees are returning to offices, at least a few days per week. A May survey from the Partnership for New York City, a business advocacy group, said that 78% of employers in the city indicated a hybrid office model would be their predominant post-pandemic policy, up from just 6% pre-pandemic. It is anticipated that return to office rates will increase after Labor Day, with 49% of NYC-based workers expected in the office on an average weekday in September 2022.i

As employees return to offices in growing numbers, Honeywell’s Occupant Experience suite, including the remote building supervisor, featuring a dashboard, and the app powered by the Sine Pro mobile platform, will empower the main groups that occupy and manage buildings in several ways, such as learning insights on the occupants’ experience by soliciting feedback on security, safety, building health, cleanliness and collaboration.

Access tools show tenants how the building supports better occupant experiences and creates an environment for efficiency, productivity and collaboration.

This can also improve property value with technology assets that can support current and future needs.

The system can help employees adjust to hybrid work schedules and protocols through scheduling tools, frictionless entry options and space use analytics that prevent crowding. Tools can make employees feel heard by providing easy feedback pathways.

Comfortable in-office experiences can be focused on teamwork and collaboration to encourage a positive return to the office. Space use tools can help accommodate employee populations.

Users can also gain confidence that goals for productivity, collaboration and retention are being met through easy-to-read dashboards and real-time occupant experience indexes.

Office workers can take more control over their in-office experience, including direct access to adjust temperature and lighting through a readily available app that also provides frictionless check-in and visitor management, eliminating the need for badges or key cards.

Users can submit on-the-go mobile requests to facilities managers about maintenance, security and quality of life factors, and engage directly with facilities staff to address building experience concerns.

“In a time where competition for talent is high and there is an increased focus on personal well-being, the occupant experience will continue to grow in importance as more employees return to offices and workers set higher expectations for the environments in which they spend time, the need to create a place that employees want to go to is key,” said Udaya Shrivastava, chief technology officer for Honeywell Building Technologies. “We have already launched and field-tested these tools at our new Honeywell corporate headquarters in Charlotte to help us provide an unmatched occupant experience that supports the well-being of our employees and guests.”

At Charlotte, occupant experience technologies make it easier for employees to move seamlessly through the campus. Sensors, cameras and biometrics-based access control create a completely frictionless and touchless experience. Using the Sine application, an employee can park their car in the garage, go through lobby security, access elevators and enter their desired office without touching a single surface. Gone is the need to fish in bags or pockets for fobs, badges or keys.

Once in the office, employees can adjust temperature and lighting controls in conference rooms and workspaces to their desired comfort while instantly reporting any office conditions that need attention from facilities management staff through the app.

“In working with Honeywell, we’ve learned how the company’s technologies for interpreting occupant behaviour, as well as making buildings more sustainable, can help us add value to our properties for our investors and increase their appeal to potential tenants,” said Paul Dougherty, president of PRP. “This innovative technology allows tenants to gain visibility into returning workers’ behaviour and can help tenants optimise their space utilisation, improve employees’ well-being and productivity, and identify opportunities to improve how their employees use their days working in the office. From our tenants’ perspectives, the more digital services people have to make their lives in the office easier and more rewarding, the more effective they are and the more they enjoy their work. And the more they enjoy their work, the more committed they are to their companies. It’s about creating smart offices that are sustainable, comfortable, healthy, modern, equipped with digital services and simply more fun to work.”

The suite complements Honeywell’s ready now products that can help improve occupant well-being, meet energy efficiency goals and, importantly, change the way occupants experience a building.