“Automation can play a key role in improving employee health in buildings and support the return to work.”

Automation technology just got a job in real estate, says Dr. Andrea Chegut from MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab.

An online poll, conducted by EY of global real estate players in June found that two-thirds of real estate companies are looking toward automation and technology to solve their return-to-work challenges today and support the future of work in a post-pandemic world. The findings reveal 21% of respondents have already increased their investment in automation and technology.

A massive 41% are “considering their options.” Just 10% are making no change to their investment. But alarmingly, 29% are still uncertain.


Healthy buildings in the headlights

These were just a few of the fascinating outtakes from a recent webinar and panel discussion, hosted by EY and Dr. Andrea Chegut, Co-founder and Director of the Real Estate Innovation Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

We got together to ask a simple question: how do we create healthy offices?

This is a question that has already been unpicked in hundreds of articles and flooded our social media feeds with “expert” opinions. Are we saying goodbye to the skyscraper? Or will we need to expand our real estate footprint in the era of social distancing? The speculation has swung from one end of the spectrum to the other, but often missing the nuances that sit somewhere in between.

So, turning to some of the smartest minds in the office space, we took a step back to get the basics right. If health and safety are the top priorities as we return to work, what does a healthy building look like? And what role does technology — especially automation technology — play in creating buildings that protect and enhance human health?