Global businesses face unprecedented challenges when considering their real estate strategies, with political, economic and legal considerations evermore important.
In a changing and uncertain world, it is essential to get the basics right. For leading businesses, this means getting maximum value from their two greatest investments – people and property.
The core requirements remain stable and are cost and risk control, future-proofing, efficiency and productivity, employee satisfaction, and corporate image. But in the office of the future, occupiers need to balance these needs with the pace of change driven by new technology and changing demographics to deliver an optimal workplace environment.
Our in-house research and work advising many of Europe’s leading businesses has given us a unique insight in to the workplace trends that occupiers must consider. Four interlinked trends will dominate the workplace of the future. These are a generation shift, with millennials poised to dominate the workforce; digital technology, big data and the cloud as a mission critical; the office as an ecosystem that enables a culture of sharing and collaboration; and the office as a hub, taking in remote working, desk-sharing and teleworking.
These trends are being practically adopted within the workplace and in 2017 will take a step closer to becoming the “new normal”. All corporate leaders should consider the implications that these trends will have on the operation of their core business and therefore what it will mean for their use of real estate, irrespective of the sector they are operating within.
The millennials, or Generation Y, are expected to make up more than 50 per cent of the workforce by 2020. How do you keep hold of your workforce when it has grown up changing jobs on a regular basis?
This is the first digitally native generation, having grown up with the internet and mobile technology. And many have a stronger sense that work should be socially worthwhile, as well as well remunerated, that they should value the experience of being at work and the ethical credentials of their employer are important.
Offering services covering every part of the work-life balance should be seen as an investment in performance, rather than a cost
These factors will all influence real estate strategy, from making room for flexible working, to creating an “experiential” workplace, to managing environmental impact.
Furthermore, smart buildings will quickly evolve from being the office of the future to the minimum standard that businesses demand, as they seek ways to manage their sustainability, data management, security and productivity.
Service provision will also need to evolve to drive employee wellbeing, attract and retain talent, and boost productivity and efficiency.
These come in two groups – those for occupants, contributing to employee wellbeing and productivity, and those for the building, to optimise its use and performance – with both needing to be tailored on a business-by-business, building-by-building basis.
What kind of services do you need? These will vary, but are likely to include good catering, effective meeting spaces, environment, wellbeing, staff development, health, everyday life and transport.
Keeping employees happy and healthy enhances productivity, and this ultimately affects the bottom line of a business. Offering services covering every part of the work-life balance, therefore, should be seen as an investment in performance, rather than a cost. Businesses that buy in to this approach will be more successful in the long term.
To do this most effectively, using a real estate partner that can act as a natural extension of their operation, means that the occupier can focus on achieving their end-goals – a happy and productive workforce as well as a healthy profit and loss account, while the real estate partner takes care of the property and workplace detail.
BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Global Corporate Solutions business co-ordinates occupier strategy and services across 36 countries, providing full outsourcing coverage.
For more information on BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Global Corporate Solutions click here