As hybrid work becomes more commonplace, organisations must develop corporate real estate portfolios and workplace strategies that emphasis flexibility.
It is anticipated that there will be a marked change in the way businesses supervise their property portfolios, as suggested by the 2022 EY Workplace of the Future Index 2.0 which indicates that more than 70% of personnel are remote-working for two to three days each week.
Altering the real estate portfolio to accommodate hybrid working is essential for greater flexibility and securing and keeping staff.
Developing a high-performing corporate real estate portfolio that effectively supports a hybrid workplace while optimising total cost includes three steps:
Technology has become a powerful tool for organisations to understand the actual use of space and predict workplace patterns. With the rise of advanced data analytics and sensor-based technologies, companies can gather valuable insights into how their workspace is utilised, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimise their real estate strategies.
Occupancy Sensors and Space Utilisation Software: Occupancy sensors installed throughout the workplace can collect real-time data on occupancy levels, foot traffic, and space utilisation patterns. These sensors can be integrated with space utilisation software that analyses the data and provides detailed reports and visualisations. By leveraging this technology, organisations can gain a comprehensive understanding of how different areas within the office are utilised, such as meeting rooms, workstations, and common areas. This data-driven approach allows them to identify underutilised spaces, make informed decisions on space allocation, and implement changes that align with actual employee needs.
Desk-Booking Systems and Workplace Apps: Desk-booking systems and workplace apps enable employees to reserve workstations or meeting rooms based on their specific requirements. These systems provide valuable insights into which workstations are frequently booked, which areas are in high demand, and which spaces are often left unoccupied. By analysing this data, organisations can optimise their workspace layout, reduce wasted space, and ensure that employees have access to the resources they need when they need them. This technology also promotes flexibility and agility, allowing employees to choose their preferred workspace based on their tasks or personal preferences.
Data Analytics and Predictive Models: Advanced data analytics and predictive modelling techniques can analyse historical workspace usage data and identify patterns and trends. By leveraging this technology, organisations can forecast future workplace patterns, anticipate peak utilisation times, and optimise space allocation accordingly. Predictive models can help organisations plan for specific events, seasons, or even changes in workforce demographics. By accurately predicting workplace patterns, organisations can proactively adapt their real estate strategies, allocate resources efficiently, and create a more agile and responsive workspace.
By leveraging occupancy sensors, space utilisation software, desk-booking systems, workplace apps, data analytics, and predictive models, organisations can gain valuable insights into their workspace, optimise space allocation, and create a dynamic and efficient work environment that aligns with the needs and preferences of their employees.
Organisations today are faced with the challenge of finding the right balance between fixed and flexible office space options. While fixed office spaces provide stability and a dedicated work environment, flexible office spaces offer agility and adaptability.
Embracing a combination of fixed and flexible office space options can provide numerous benefits to organisations.
Scalability and Cost Optimisation: Fixed office spaces are ideal for core teams and functions that require stability and dedicated workstations. However, organisations often experience fluctuations in their workforce due to project-based work, seasonal demands, or business growth.
Incorporating flexible office space options, organisations can easily scale their operations up or down, depending on their current needs. This flexibility enables cost optimisation by avoiding the burden of maintaining excess or underutilised space during periods of low demand.
Employee Well-being and Productivity: Employees have diverse work preferences and requirements. While some tasks may require concentration and privacy, others may benefit from collaborative and interactive environments. By offering a mix of fixed and flexible office spaces, organisations can cater to these varying needs.
Fixed office spaces provide stability and a sense of belonging, promoting focus and deep work. On the other hand, flexible spaces such as co-working areas or collaboration zones foster creativity, knowledge sharing, and cross-team collaboration. This balanced approach enhances employee well-being, engagement, and productivity.
Business Continuity and Adaptability: Disruptions such as natural disasters, technology failures, or unforeseen events can impact an organisation's ability to operate from a fixed location. Having access to flexible office spaces or remote work options ensures business continuity by providing alternative work environments.
By exploring flexible office space options, organisations can quickly adapt to changing circumstances, relocate teams if needed, and maintain productivity during challenging times. Additionally, the ability to tap into a network of flexible office spaces enables organisations to expand their market presence and establish satellite offices in different locations with ease.
By carefully assessing their needs and considering a blend of fixed and flexible spaces, organisations can create a dynamic and efficient work environment that aligns with their goals, enhances employee satisfaction, and supports business growth.
In today's business landscape, organisations need to prioritise Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations as an integral part of their corporate real estate strategy. ESG factors have gained significant importance among stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators. Here are several reasons why organisations must prioritise ESG in their corporate real estate strategy:
Stakeholder Expectations: Stakeholders, including investors, customers, and employees, are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability regarding ESG practices. They expect organisations to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical business practices. By prioritising ESG within the corporate real estate strategy, organisations can align themselves with stakeholder expectations, build trust, and maintain strong relationships.
Long-Term Value Creation: Integrating ESG considerations into the corporate real estate strategy can contribute to long-term value creation. Sustainable and energy-efficient buildings, green infrastructure, and responsible resource management can enhance the performance and resilience of real estate assets. By investing in ESG initiatives, organisations can protect and increase the value of their real estate portfolio while reducing risks associated with environmental and social factors.
Regulatory Compliance: Governments and regulatory bodies are increasingly imposing stricter regulations and requirements related to ESG practices. By prioritising ESG in the corporate real estate strategy, organisations can ensure compliance with current and future regulations, reducing legal and financial risks. Proactively addressing ESG factors also positions organisations to adapt to evolving regulatory landscapes and stay ahead of potential compliance challenges.
Risk Mitigation: ESG considerations help organisations identify and mitigate potential risks associated with climate change, resource scarcity, social issues, and governance failures. By assessing and managing these risks within the corporate real estate strategy, organisations can minimise operational disruptions, protect their reputation, and safeguard long-term profitability. Identifying and addressing potential ESG risks also demonstrates effective risk management to stakeholders.
Talent Attraction and Retention: ESG priorities are increasingly important for attracting and retaining top talent. Millennial and Gen Z employees, in particular, seek organisations that align with their values and provide meaningful work experiences. Prioritising ESG within the corporate real estate strategy allows organisations to create sustainable and employee-friendly workspaces that enhance well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction.
Organisations need to prioritise ESG considerations within their corporate real estate strategy to meet stakeholder expectations, create long-term value, ensure regulatory compliance, mitigate risks, and attract and retain top talent. Embracing sustainability, social responsibility, and good governance in real estate practices not only benefits the organisation but also contributes to a more sustainable and inclusive future.
Many employers have been forced to operate hastily implemented hybrid work setups and real estate portfolios that were designed for pre-2020 conditions, resulting in significant wasted space. Now is the time to create new hybrid workplace strategies that can boost resilience, improve environmental and financial performance, and improve employee experience.