Hybrid Working Will Unlock The Next Phase Of Growth In The Workplace App Market
Throughout 2020 and 2021, the smart buildings market saw an unprecedented amount of buyer interest in mobile apps that provide tenants and staff with tools to improve productivity and workplace experience. Investment in smart workplace apps finally moved beyond the pilot phase as firms implemented technology to support the return to the office and future working. For example, from April 2020 to 2021, tenant experience app provider, HqO tripled its revenue and raised $60 million in a Series C round of funding in April 2021.
The move towards more hybrid and flexible working has been a major driver for customer implementations, as firms provide invest in providing their employees more sophisticated tools for booking space. For example, in October 2020, Avison Young deployed Trimble’s ManhattanONE Flexidesk and Mobile Booking modules (recently acquired by MRI Software) to support its flexible return-to-office strategy for employees. In December 2020, commercial real estate firm EQ Office rolled out the Rise Building tenant engagement path integrated with Openpath's mobile access control solution. Most recently in March 2021, Arvato Financial Solutions’ implemented Siemens’s workplace intelligence platform, including the mobile app Comfy, at its European offices to enable flexible working.
To tap into the new opportunity of hybrid workplace, vendors have also been launching new generations of mobile app design for flexible workspaces. In April 2021, Robin and Spacewell released new workplace apps specifically designed to help employees in hybrid models with capabilities for finding co-workers and viewing real-time office occupancy. In March 2021, Spica Technologies launched a ready-made version of its workplace experience app for firms seeking quick deployments as they return to the office. Other innovation has centred on improving building health and occupant safety amidst COVID-19. IWMS vendors Planon and FM:Systems have launched mobile apps for janitorial teams to manage work orders and cleaning supplies. HVAC, refrigeration and fire and security solutions firm Carrier launched its Healthy Buildings product line which included the trademarked MyWay mobile app for employees to control the indoor environment.
To drive even further growth, app vendors signing up new customers need to determine their strategies for scaling deployments beyond HQs and flagship buildings, which continue to be the focal point of investments. This will require vendors to offer simpler, less feature-rich versions of their apps that can be installed cost-effectively at scale. To learn more about the smart workplace technology market, current product innovations and the capabilities of prominent solution providers, see our latest Smart Innovators: Smart Workplace Technology report.