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Officeverse can compose workplace ecosystem

3/24/2023

The metaverse may seem like a distant reality to some, but the concept applied to the virtual workplace, also known as the officeverse, has been attracting the attention of companies, especially when it comes to attracting talent who want different options for where and how to work.

The officeverse is yet another tool to re-establish real connections, as much of that has been lost with remote work.

What exactly is the officeverse?
Imagine a virtual environment, available in 2D or 3D formats, that simulates a physical office, incorporating traditional resources such as meeting rooms, tables, screens, projectors and even cafeterias.

In it, it is possible to be with co-workers in the form of an avatar and participate in a virtual meeting "in person", for example, without having to leave the house. That's the promise of the officeverse: go to the office without the commute.

If executed correctly, the officeverse can provide an innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solution for organizations looking to improve company culture and collaboration in a world increasingly embracing hybrid work models and technology.

How can the officeverse improve the work experience?

Help build culture
Physical spaces are today the main place where the company's culture is built and sustained, and where values are best translated and manifested.

The space's layout, decor, style, and branding help set the tone for the workplace, as well as communicate the type of business the organization aspires to be.

The officeverse has the potential to provide some of these same capabilities.

Facilitates collaborative meetings
One of the biggest criticisms of remote work is that it doesn't facilitate spontaneous interactions between colleagues. But through their avatars, in the officeverse, employees have the opportunity to experience these unplanned encounters.

For those who prefer less distractions, don't worry, they can simply put headphones on their avatar and turn off the noise – and even be able to greet their colleagues as they pass by.

Democratize the workplace
By its very nature, a physical workspace can be limited in its ability to attract employees. Linking work to a specific location can cause inconveniences such as commuting time.

Furthermore, even the best-designed offices can present barriers for people whose vision, hearing or mobility are limited, or those for whom an office environment can be overwhelming or unproductive.

These are just a few examples.

Will the officeverse replace physical offices?

This is highly unlikely.

Organizations are looking at the officeverse as yet another workplace option in order to grow the ecosystem and offer more variety of spaces.
Like most innovations, the officeverse will only succeed after carefully evaluating where and how it will be most valuable to its respective businesses and talents.

While only time will tell how big the officeverse will grow, what we know so far is that physical workspaces will continue to exist strongly.
Adoption of the officeverse will not happen overnight and may never catch on. Also, not all companies should adopt it. But it has the potential to provide an important bridge between remote work and the physical office.

For now, understanding the various applications that make the officeverse possible and the benefits it offers is a good start.

Cushman & Wakefield and the officeverse
Cushman & Wakefield explored the officeverse firsthand to understand how the technology involved works, and went further, a team of forty employees in five countries tested virtual reality headsets in a global pilot over two months in 2022.

After running a series of tracked situational tests, and before and after qualitative assessments, the team concluded that the experience of getting to know someone through virtual reality does indeed help bond.

The consensus was that virtual reality allowed employees to experience a new style of communication and connection that they previously thought was exclusive to physical interactions.

As part of the ongoing research and pilot, the Cushman & Wakefield team made the virtual reality pilot available in their office, allowing the team to learn about its features and limitations.

The team is also evaluating the opportunities and influence that the officeverse could have on the future of the real estate market, as it has the potential to support the re-sizing of real estate portfolios by giving the physical environment a clear purpose in the workplace ecosystem.

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Located in the central region, it has more than 23 thousand m² of built area and 20 corporate buildings, currently 100% occupied by the largest electricity company in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. Around 750 users pass through there per day.
After an important retrofit, completed in 2018, the Barão de Mauá Building re-emerges revamped in the Rio real estate market to continue writing its history in the heart of the city.

Learn a little about the work that the Cushman & Wakefield Property Management team has been carrying out in the condominium and understand how this successful relationship has been built long before the renovation.

2002 to 2017 – Property and Facilities Management
Even before the retrofit, Cushman & Wakefield already worked with Property Management in the common areas of the condominium and also provided Facilities Management services in the private areas.

2018 – Completion of retrofit
Between 2015 and 2016, the Barão de Maurá Building was vacated to carry out the retrofit. The work was completed in 2018, the property had its facilities completely modernized, which placed it among the best-rated corporate buildings in the city, with LEED Gold certification, which proves that the project complies with strict construction use standards, in addition to the Procel A seal, which attests to its energy efficiency. The iconic architectural design has had its original characteristics preserved.

At this point, Cushman & Wakefield then resumes condominium management work.

2019 – Reoccupation
In 2019, the Barão de Mauá building opened its doors to its new occupant, which would later become the largest electrical energy company in Latin America and one of the largest in the world, becoming a single-user building.

In addition to the common areas, the Cushman & Wakefield team dedicated to the operation provided full support to the occupant during the process of reoccupying the building, going through challenging moments when the COVID-19 pandemic devastated Brazil and the world.
With delays throughout the supply chain and a direct impact on service provision, a lot of resilience and expertise was required to deal with adversity.

Another important moment in relation to occupant support also required new efforts from the team. After being incorporated by another company, the occupying company goes through a relayout process that included new reforms.

2024 – Operational Excellence Award
Having overcome the challenges, today the team is reaping the rewards of the work carried out over all these years.

The quality of the service provided was recently recognized. The Barão de Mauá Building was highlighted in the operational excellence award, which annually recognizes Cushman & Wakefield's best operations in Property Management. Result of the combined efforts of all members.
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