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3 challenges facing the commercial real estate sector

The impact of Coronavirus is being felt across commercial property sectors in unprecedented ways. Throughout various lockdowns, in many Australian cities, most offices shut and employees encouraged to work from home. While employers, owners and property managers are gradually planning the return to work in some capacity, the emphasis for post-lockdown will largely focus on protecting the health and safety of customers and staff.

In this article, we explore the unique challenges the commercial real estate industry is facing, and what preventative measures can ensure your business and people remain safe as restrictions ease and people gradually return to work.  

1. Curbing the spread of COVID-19

Limiting the spread of the virus is the number one priority for any post-lockdown return to work. To do this effectively, property owners, managers and personnel working in the commercial real estate sector need to address the operational implications of the Coronavirus and plan for new challenges, upgrades and laws. State and territory governments are upgrading security cameras and speaker systems for uses in emergencies to improve and monitor incident responses to maintain physical distancing measures.

Depending on their location, business must abide by state and local face mask protection protocols. This is an effective measure to lower infection rates. However, there are more preventative and proactive ways to curb the spread of COVID-19. For example, Wilson Security provides thermal protection body cameras which can be used to identify early warning signs of potential health risks.  We’re also able to automate the detection of people not wearing face masks. This technology works by capturing a live-feed complete with alarms to flag violations to ensure non-compliance is detected and addressed.

Many businesses will also face challenges when it comes to pinpointing where an infected person has been within a building after the fact. Wilson Security can deploy contact tracing technology to identify those individuals, where they have been and who they've been in contact with. 

2. Managing commercial premises’ occupancy rates

Commercial spaces are grappling with how to successfully manage occupancy rates in a pandemic environment. The functionality, interior design, and amenities of a post-lockdown office will play a much larger role in tenant acquisition and retention, which in turn directly affects occupancy rates. New office layouts such as the 6-foot office arrangement proposed by Cushman & Wakefield, requires spaced distances between desks and colour-coded carpeting. Other measures to increase occupancy rates include separate entry and exit points to ensure the free flow of people through enclosed spaces.

As businesses look to cut their rental costs, workplaces must be reshaped to tackle variable occupancy rates as state restrictions ease or potentially tighten in the future. An effective security plan that relies on physical-distanced behaviour can prevent the spread of the virus and keep people safe in your workplace. To ensure this occurs, leaders of commercial spaces must take responsibility for enforcing social distancing measures to safeguard customers and staff.

Wilson Security personnel can plan appropriate security measures ahead of workers beginning their gradual return back into offices. We’ve already had great success monitoring people in the high-risk areas using smart technology-enabled solutions. Our security experts can also recommend the right mix of sensors and heatmaps to detect fevers or other key symptoms, and help offices create different working zones in case of contamination. This coupled with the collation of real-time data means businesses can make informed decisions about how they manage shared spaces in a safe and secure way.

3. Responding to incidents and compliance risks

Controlling the spread of the virus is no easy task. While responsible commercial spaces will do the utmost to prevent safety breaches, the reality is they still can occur. It’s the role of building manager, and their security support, to be as prepared as possible to effectively respond to an incident. Property owners, managers and security personnel can help to develop a proactive step-by-step approach that can assist with business readiness to manage any incidents or risks related to the Coronavirus. For commercial real estate, this can be quite a challenge. Due to their expansive floor space and large numbers of rotating staff, many corporate buildings can take a lot of time and manpower to monitor. However, with the right integrated security solutions, the tasks of constant vigilance and timely response can become more intuitive.

For example, Wilson Security can deploy an intelligent response using live video monitoring to determine what information is important and relevant to security mobile patrol. If utilised correctly, incidents can be targeted swiftly with quick on-site responses, such as immediate facility lockdown. We currently offer control centre software and mobile app technology which enhances incident management and instant responses to situations to quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest. Multiple personnel can get oversight on the situation. This, coupled with real time monitoring and deduction through CCTV camera and other devices, can help security responders make proactive planning decisions when an incident occurs.

Protect your customers and staff with Wilson Security

Wilson Security is a trusted and compliant choice that provides state-of-the-art security technology. With our years of experience tailoring security solutions for commercial offices and precincts, our professional security services are tackling the challenges and providing smart solutions to combat the impacts of the COVID-19.

We’ll provide a tailored security solution to keep your commercial premises safe. Get in contact with us today.

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