Cohesion CEO on the desktop of the future – .

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Cohesion CEO on the desktop of the future – .


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NEW YORK – Before COVID-19, Cohesion co-founder and CEO Thru Shivakumar was already working on apps to convert office buildings into smart spaces, powered by technology that enables interaction with tenants through phones and phones. computers.

Since the start of the pandemic, however, she has learned that the smart buildings of the future will be different from those she predicted before 2020.

Chicago-based Cohesion, which works with companies around the world to create software for “smart” buildings, is seeing an increase in the number of people who would use a building smartphone app to track cleanliness, the quality of the building. air and building security. Before the pandemic, employees were more interested in amenities, such as restaurants and gyms.

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Shivakumar, 39, spoke to Reuters about the workplace of the future. The edited excerpts are below.

Q. How will the offices change when they reopen?

A. After each seizure, the pendulum does not move too far from the center. I don’t think offices are gone and remote working is here for good, but people will want more flexibility, more communication and more transparency. A smart building app is no longer a pleasure to have. It is a must.

Q. What do employees want when they return to the office?

A. Our research shows that over 60% of people said they wanted to come back full time. When employees return, their new priorities are health, wellness and safety. People want outdoor spaces to have fresh air.

We also know that people want to interact less with office staff and have more ability to do their own thing – maybe they want to have a key card in the app so you don’t need to. take out a physical key card to enter.

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They don’t want to touch the elevator buttons. They would like touchless controls or an app driven elevator that knows where you are going.

Smart bathrooms where they can touch less things and surfaces are also important. The same goes for the ability to see what kind of air they are breathing.

We’ve also heard that people don’t want to be inundated with all of this information, but want to know they’re there when they want to go see it.

Q. What is the best professional advice you have ever received?

A. One of my mentors told me very early on never to say “no” to any project, and to deliver what I said I would and when I said I would.

In my 20s, I did so many mundane projects, but because I always delivered, I got a seat at the table. I never said I couldn’t do it because I needed to sleep. I just delivered.

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As you progress in your career, you are no longer the individual contributor. You need to make sure your team keeps their promises. Stay communicative and never think there is nothing you can do. There is a lot of administrative work even in my job now. I never say it’s not my job to do it.

Q. Have you developed interesting work habits since the start of the pandemic?

A. Since I was in the office, I have never been able to cook in the middle of the day, but now I do a lot of instapot cooking – a lot of chopped veggies and dumping things in a pot, and I can still take a call with my AirPods while I’m doing it.

Because we are on video calls all day, my staff saw me cooking an omelet in the morning.

Q. You won a 200 person charity poker tournament in 2007 – what did you learn from that?

A. It was a tournament for sarcoma research in Chicago. I was one of the few women to participate and the only woman at the final table.

It was a fun experience. There was so much going on and I could be distracted, but I had to have this sustained focus.

At first I played hands that some people wouldn’t have – I took a chance and at the end it was me against a pro poker player, and they said we all won. the two. My conclusion was that to be an entrepreneur you really have to take risks. (Reporting by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan in New York Editing by Lauren Young and Matthew Lewis)

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