Workplace Communications for Smart Buildings

How web and mobile workplace communications can engage tenants, build community, and drive retention at commercial real estate properties.

Let’s say you’re a property manager trying to promote an event, inform your tenants of important news items, or share engaging resources. What workplace communications channels are available to you? A poster? A pamphlet? An email to the office manager at each tenant company? All we can say is: good luck! 

These days, it’s hard to envision an effective way to communicate with your tenants—busy professionals whose attention spans are growing increasingly thin, and who tend to pay little heed to traditional (read: printed) marketing materials. 

But what if you could reach your tenants across multiple devices, keep them engaged with easy-to-update content, target the audiences you want to reach, and keep track of their engagement through data analytics? 

At Lane, we’ve created a web and mobile platform to do just that.

Lane was built to change the way tenants engage with their physical workplace—and with each other. In a world where reading a pamphlet on your desk or squinting at a hallway poster feels like the communications equivalent of churning butter, our web and mobile technology is opening up new and convenient ways to share information, events, and resources across large office spaces.

“Reading a pamphlet on your desk or squinting at a hallway poster feels like the communications equivalent of churning butter.”

In this post, we break down three major communications challenges that Lane addresses to help property managers foster engagement and community in the workplace.

Challenge 1: Capturing Attention in an Attention Economy

Traditional forms of office communications (think posters, flyers, lobby screens, and bulletin boards) pose one glaring problem: as workforces become increasingly “millennial,” and even “gen z,” how do you get employees to look up from their phones? 

With Lane, the answer is simple: create opportunities for engagement that live in their phones. By creating custom notices, pages, and posts and pushing them directly through a smart web and mobile app, you can reach each and every one of your tenants in minutes. Plus, you can send urgent news items, important updates about events, and other key resources via push notification, text message, or email. You can even push content to lobby and elevator screens so everything stays in sync.

Of course, it’s not just about capturing attention—it’s about keeping it. Lane delivers a platform that allows you to nurture your tenants’ interest by providing a) important information like WiFi passwords, recycling policies, and key updates; and b) fun content like articles and event promotions—a winning combination.

“Create opportunities for engagement that live in their phones.”

Lane can even be used for interactive content such as contests, quizzes, polls, and surveys. Not only does this added interactivity help tenants stay engaged, it can also provide building teams with useful feedback and qualitative data to help further refine the workplace experience. 

Keeping tenants engaged means finding them where they are—namely their laptops and smartphones—and then speaking their language through a sleek, sophisticated interface. By moving your communications to a smart web and mobile platform available to all, rather than the old paper methods (or dry emails to the one office manager at each tenant company), Lane delivers on what a modern office should look like. 

Challenge 2: Building Community at Scale

It’s great to engage professionals individually—but what about as a group? Driving a sense of community and place in the office can be a daunting task for any property manager. Because when most people think of “community,” their first thought probably isn’t the people standing next to them in the elevator on the way to their office suite. (Let’s be honest: they’re probably thinking of their neighbourhood, gym class, or circle of friends.) But why shouldn’t all the features of a high-functioning community be available in the workplace as well? 

That’s where Lane comes in.

Whether it’s promoting a live event, an online competition, or a thriving commercial marketplace, the beauty of the Lane platform is that it makes connecting people easier. 

From social mixers to yoga classes, Lane lets you promote and send reminders about live goings-on happening in and around your building. Even when folks aren’t in the office, you can similarly use Lane to market virtual social events, educational talks, or fitness classes. 

But it’s not just about marketing events: Lane takes community-building a step further with features that allow tenants to engage and interact. Foster healthy competition through building-wide contests or pools. Share the stories of your tenants by posting a “tenant company of the month” page profiling them in the app. With Lane, you can even transform your building into a bustling marketplace with our commerce feature, which allows companies to buy and sell office supplies and other items from each other.  

Community, of course, isn’t a single, monolithic thing. Workforces are large, multifarious groups, whose values and needs can vary widely. One floor of your office might house a relaxed, open concept tech startup—but move up a level, and you might be greeted by suits and ties at a buttoned-down professional firm. 

That’s why we added targeting and segmentation features to our platform, allowing you to target your communications to specific tenants, tiers, or customizable user groups that your administrators can create in-app. Creating content for specific groups helps you deepen your building’s reach, and enhances engagement by giving you control over who sees what. 

These tactics represent just a few of the ways that Lane helps commercial real estate managers transform brick-and-mortar properties into informed, engaged, and thriving workplace communities. 

Last but not least, Lane also applies content analytics, which keep track of how tenants engage and interact with your content, empowering building teams to create stronger, more impactful content in the long run, or to target specific groups in a more meaningful way. 

Challenge 3: Time (and Paper) is of the Essence

Aside from expanding reach and fostering community, perhaps the most obvious issue the Lane platform addresses is the time, energy, and (notably) paper that goes into office communications that ultimately end up ignored. The creation and distribution of printed posters, flyers, billboards, and notices takes time and resources, and emails to office managers (usually making up less than 2% of your tenant population) can easily end up lost in a sea of work tasks and other urgent matters. 

Lane eliminates these efficiency problems by providing a simple content management system (CMS) that’s quick and easy to use. Using our drag-and-drop builder, property managers and building teams can quickly create and publish communications in a way that makes sense for their building and tenants. Posts can be scheduled to go out in advance, and templates and images can be saved for easy re-use.

“Perhaps the most obvious issue that the Lane platform addresses is the time, energy, and (notably) paper that goes into office communications that ultimately end up ignored.”

And with the ability to easily deploy and promote surveys and polls, you save money on the usual costs those services charge. Combine that with our capacity to target groups, send push notifications, collect data, and configure settings, and you’ve got a truly powerful communications tool at your fingertips.

All of these features create clear efficiencies and expand your reach to every professional in the building—meaning your comms will actually get noticed.

The Solution

Creating an informed, engaged, and satisfied tenant base—one that feels like a real community—doesn’t mean you have to move mountains (or waste money). Quite the opposite. Lane’s approach to communications in the office is simple: create a space that connects people, shares information, and inspires action. We took those simple concepts and created a platform that makes them achievable on a large scale. And the best part is, it’s a platform that anyone (and we mean anyone) can use.

To learn more about the Lane workplace experience platform, get in touch, or request a demo today.

Did we mention we’re hiring? To learn more about roles at Lane, visit our careers page.