The aftermath of the pandemic has ushered in a new era for corporations, marked by a myriad of challenges. Over the past three years, global office occupancy has been sluggish, with each region facing unique challenges. While 2023 showed growth in comparison to 2022, there was no perceivable growth across the year.  

Global Utilisation - Quarterly Trends & % Change

Besides labour, retail is the highest cost for a business, which has been exacerbated by post-pandemic conditions.

Here, we take a closer look at the issues corporations now face, from legacy systems to space utilisation. We’ll also examine the top tech tools and strategies to combat the costs of an ever-evolving corporate landscape.

Key Challenges

Corporate space management involves the strategic design, planning, and utilisation of physical business spaces. Several key challenges are associated with managing these spaces successfully, including:

Legacy Systems and Integrations

Disconnected systems breed inefficient processes. Companies are often burdened by the legacy of disparate programmes that have evolved over time.

Lack of Integration

While these systems developed independently to cater to specific needs, they now pose challenges to creating a seamless operation.

A recent study found that most legacy applications will likely undergo modernisation by 2024. This is good news since the lack of integration hampers the flow of data, hinders collaboration, and slows the decision-making process.  

work in office standing desk open office

Data Silos

When you have a patchwork of systems that don’t communicate effectively, it creates data silos. Siloed databases develop operational bottlenecks and stifle visibility. Critical data becomes trapped within specific departments, with fragmentation obstructing collaborative efforts.

In data silos, teams end up working with incomplete or inaccurate information. Decision-makers face inefficiencies and delays due to their inability to access real-time insights across the company.  

Wasted Time

Legacy systems also take a toll on productivity and employee morale. Teams have to navigate through multiple systems, taking on a lot of extra legwork, and spending valuable time toggling. Not only does this create duplicate efforts, it spurs inefficient workflows and frustrated workers.  

Remote Work and Reduced Occupancy

According to a recent survey, 85% of managers believe that having remote workers will become the new normal for many teams. In the same report, 28% of British workers expressed they would like to work from home permanently.

Socioeconomic Change

These numbers demonstrate a permanent change in the way we do business. This critical change in sentiment is a reality that companies must face. Post-pandemic, the global labour market continues to evolve.

Remote work, changing migration patterns, and fiscal development are all socioeconomic factors that can affect corporate space management.  

Workspace Utilisation

After COVID, there has been an obvious shift in how companies are using workspaces. People are out of the office (OOO) most of the time, leaving physical spaces vastly underutilised. Not only does this eat up energy, it leads to rising costs, with little ROI.

The widespread adoption of remote work, which leads to decreased office occupancy, creates a dire need to reassess and optimise office spaces based on actual utilisation patterns. As employees increasingly embrace flexible work arrangements, companies must now adapt to this evolving dynamic.

Maintaining Office Productivity

The rise of flexible work arrangements has an impact on traditional office layouts and the subsequent productivity of teams. The workforce is now hybrid, which can become increasingly difficult to manage without the right tools.  

Remote work poses challenges to maintaining the same level of collaboration and productivity experienced in a traditional office setting.

There is a marked impact on team collaboration and company culture. A loss of connection can make it difficult for remote teams to work together in a seamless fashion. Considerable time is wasted sifting through disparate systems, trying to glean shared insights.

However, 58% of UK workers state that working remotely gives them more autonomy, while 75% of workers say they are more productive when working from home.  

peoples intentions to return to office



Budget Constraints and Financial Pressures

It goes without being said, there has been a lot of financial pressure since the pandemic. The financial implications lead to lower budget realities and constrained corporate spending. How do you make cost-effective decisions without compromising productivity?  

Lower Budgets

The economic impact of COVID-19 has forced companies to reassess and drastically reduce their budgets. Market uncertainties, revenue losses, inflation, and increased expenses related to remote work have all contributed to lowering budgets across industries.  

Balancing Cost-Cutting and Innovation

In this new era, with a closer eye on spend, it becomes a greater challenge to maintain innovation and growth amidst financial constraints. The economic fallout from the pandemic has had a huge impact on corporate budgets.

There is an urgent need for cost-effective space management, with half the resources one might have had five years ago. The challenge here lies in implementing strategic cost-cutting measures, without compromising space quality or employee satisfaction.

a comprehensive guide on legacy application modernatisation in 2024

This delicate balance involves identifying prime areas for cost optimisation, while maintaining a conducive work environment. You must look beyond immediate cost reduction to strategic, sustainable measures that position the business for future growth.  


The Best Tech Tools for Post-COVID Challenges

In order to address some of these pertinent challenges, we need technology to bridge the gap. Implementing an integrated system that streamlines legacy setups is crucial for future success.

This requires investing in modern, unified platforms with cloud-based solutions that break down data silos and foster collaboration.  

Choosing the Right Technology for Efficient Space Management

The best tools empower companies to make better decisions about their corporate real estate portfolios, which will ultimately help to optimise space utilisation, eliminate data silos, and control costs.

Here are some of the more popular solutions to consider:  

IoT and Sensor Technologies

IoT and Sensor Technologies A business can leverage IoT sensors to track occupancy metrics in real-time. This helps to enhance space utilisation analytics and facilitates more informed decision-making.

Implementing smart technologies also helps to control energy consumption in underutilised spaces. This works to reduce operational costs by aligning energy with actual needs.  

Space Management Software

Corporate real estate management software enables a business to analyse its current real estate portfolio, plan for the future, and execute immediate changes that make a positive impact.  

It helps to identify trends and opportunities for optimising space efficiency, enabling dynamic office layouts based on real-time data.

Tools like Accruent’s Corporate Space Intelligence (CSI) provide a “single pane of glass” that enables a business to distil utilisation data, revealing comprehensive insights and helping a business plan an effective course of action.  

These smart tools help a business:

  • Eliminate data siloes and demystify real-time metrics
  • Restack departments, compare scenarios, and adjust for forecasted capacity needs
  • Automate changes to your strategy, from approvals to execution
  • Easy-to-use global, building, and floor-level dashboards
  • Drag-and-drop functionality with flexible workflows

The right CSI tools help an organisation address disconnected systems, eliminate data silos, optimise space utilisation, streamline communications, lower real estate costs, and increase employee efficiency.

A business can utilise technology for quick and actionable insights, with real-time analytics and reporting.  


Cost-Effective Innovation

A business should also look at prioritising tech investments that align with organisational goals. Leveraging digital transformation helps to enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. Explore tools that offer a high ROI, with long-term value.

Strongly consider technology for hybrid collaboration. 75% of workers say that they are more productive when working at home, because of the lack of distractions from colleagues. That sentiment will not change soon. Technology helps to overcome the challenges of maintaining a cohesive team culture.

Companies can invest in digital collaboration tools, task management software, and virtual team-building activities. Developing a virtual office environment fosters more employee interaction, helping to mitigate the challenges associated with productivity.

reasons for wfh

Summing it Up

The pandemic has fundamentally shifted corporate real estate market dynamics, and the cost of poor space management can be exorbitant. This is an especially hard truth for businesses that don’t have a definitive corporate space management strategy.

Organisations need to embrace innovation and adaptability to maintain a competitive edge. This starts with examining influential challenges within your company and identifying the top pain points. Then, you can start your search for the best tech tools to fill that void.

When facility managers, operations teams, and leadership work together, they can improve the workplace to provide a better experience, while reducing overhead costs and leveraging innovation. This is how a company stays agile in a continuously changing business environment, while still earning the respect of its people.

Ready to get started on your corporate space intelligence journey? Accruent can help.