How tech can ease office return fears


Last month, Property Week and Forge, powered by Yardi, held a digital think tank titled ‘Back to work with confidence, in which they discussed the role of technology in safely getting people back in the workplace.

Panel of experts

Carly Gibbs, head of guest experience at Chiswick Park, EnjoyWork

Martin Nestepny, head of smart workplace design and solutions, HB Reavis

Paul Speariett, co-founder, Forge, and regional director, Yardi

Sylvain Thouzeau, associate director, building performance manager, Savills

Simon Creasey, contributing editor (features), Property Week (chair)


The panel explored how technology can be a huge positive but also has to be tempered with usability, cost-effectiveness and the design of the building where it will be implemented, as no building is the same.


“The bottom line is there are some quick wins and actions that we implement to follow government guidance and at the same time there are some additional initiatives that can be done. But we need to make sure that they are economically viable, add value, are practical to implement and will work in the longer term.”


“I think the convenience and the ease of being able to use an app to gain access to a building in a touch-free way or to use an app to help you decide how you’re going to commute, that’s here to stay.”


“One of the big challenges we face is that technology is progressing so fast that what you are developing today won’t be fit for purpose tomorrow. So you need to constantly develop your product and your solution.”


“Generally speaking, there isn’t a one-stop-shop solution. You have to accept that there are different solutions and there’s a best in breed in everything you do. The key is ensuring that the products you use are open enough to allow you to connect them to other products to create the value.”

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