Hot-desking may be normal in post-lockdown hybrid workplaces

SYDNEY, Aug. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — MRI Software, a global leader in real estate technology, announces immediate availability in Australia of MRI Workplace Central, an “urgent and timely” solution to hybrid work space planning as commercial property and facility managers work to optimise their existing sites once Australia’s major states emerge from lockdown and vaccination rates increase.

David Bowie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director (Asia Pacific) for MRI Software says Australian business leaders must push through the uncertainty and stress to prepare for a safe return to shared office spaces once Australia's vaccination rates hit tipping point.
David Bowie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director (Asia Pacific) for MRI Software says Australian business leaders must push through the uncertainty and stress to prepare for a safe return to shared office spaces once Australia’s vaccination rates hit tipping point.

Available now, MRI WorkPlace Central is a cloud-based PropTech solution incorporating best-in-class capabilities from two recent MRI acquisitions – WhosOnLocation, and Manhattan – into one solution to make hybrid workforce planning easier for facility managers, HR, operations and business leaders, and commercial property owners (more details below).

A recent worldwide survey by MRI Software with international real estate professional association CoreNet Global reveals that close to 90% of businesses expect to allow remote working after the pandemic – a third more than before the crisis. Notably, only 20% are keeping assigned workstations – meaning the uptake of hot-desking is expected to boom, a trend Senior Vice President and Managing Director (Asia Pacific) for MRI Software, says is consistent with local commercial customer conversations.

Most of our commercial real estate customers ask about desk booking capabilities now, which is certainly new since the pandemic. Amid so much uncertainty, MRI Workplace Central is an urgent and timely solution during very pressing, stressful times: while most of us are in lockdown working from home, Facility Managers, COOs and commercial property owners are moving pieces of the puzzle around again to offer safe and flexible return to work options to their employees once the Government gives the green light to do so,” Mr Bowie said.

Key components of the new MRI WorkPlace Central solution available now in Australia include:

  • Health and safety – touch-less sign-in, contact tracing, wellness checks, and more are built-in mobile-ready features to WorkPlace Central making it easier to keep on and off-site employees, visitors, and contractors safe and secure, and businesses’ compliant.
  • Space planning – sophisticated visual planning tool uses the dimensions of existing desks, furnishings and fittings to re-imagine COVID-compliant shared workspaces that maximise any floorplan. 71% of commercial occupiers in MRI’s global research by CoreNet say the shift to remote working has fundamentally altered their long-term approach to space usage.
  • Scheduling/room and hot-desk booking – Employees can book a desk before leaving home to make sure COVID-compliant space is available. MRI data indicates hot-desking will be the new normal: only 20% of CoreNet global research respondents are keeping assigned workstations. MRI Workplace Central has the option of physical ‘pucks’ to sit on desks, programmed to show booking status at a glance with different colours: such as green for “clean and ready,” yellow for “booked,” red for “non-compliant proximity,” for example.
  • Space usage – over 70% of CoreNet survey respondents say the pandemic fundamentally changed their long-term approach to space usage; MRI Workplace Central produces usage data in real-time allowing for strategic and timely adjustments as space needs change.
  • Presence management – mobile-ready tools provide a full view of who is on-site and who is working remotely to make complying with Australian Government health and safety standards around people per square metreage easier.

David Bowie, Senior Vice President and Managing Director (Asia Pacific) for MRI Software says, “We know employees and employers are still getting on the same page about the future of work. Once Australia’s vaccination rates hit critical mass, we believe the shared office space will re-emerge as the heart of workplace culture, collaboration and engagement. Realising those benefits in a new COVID-safe world requires using the right technologies to balance hybrid work schedules and confidently adapt to changing regulations and health requirements over time.

We are proud to bring MRI Workplace Central to the Australian market. We believe our technology brings meaningful relief to the mental and emotional burden, as well as commercial advantage to anyone responsible for planning safe, efficient and COVID-compliant return to work policies and procedures for commercial office and retail spaces,” he said.

MRI in Australia is hosting a free webinar, “Create a safe and flexible work environment with MRI Workplace Central” on Tuesday, 31 August at 10am AEST. Click here to register.  

About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s comprehensive, flexible, open and connected platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organizations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. MRI became one of the first real estate software providers to serve Australia and New Zealand in 1995 and further strengthened its commitment to the region with the acquisitions of Rockend, WhosOnLocation and Palace. For more information, visit

Media Contact
To arrange a 1:1 media demo of Workplace Central via Zoom, an interview and/or high-res photography or screenshots please contact:

Heather Jones
PR Director for MRI Software
+61 (0) 400 394 669 

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