The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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14 September 2018 the leader Testing the landscape of flexible office solutions • The framework for making lease decisions was once focused on building cost, location and amenities. Although these remain primary factors, flexibility is an equally important component of the decision-making process today. • In many markets, flexible office solutions make up a small percentage of total occupied stock but are quickly growing. These spaces must prove to be economically smart and not be detrimental to employee productivity to achieve success. • The lasting impressions these spaces make on their users will play a role in creating the stickiness required to turn this strategy into a long-term solution. Eighty-five percent of occupiers anticipate using a flexible space strategy in the next three years (vs. 65 percent who use one today). Source: CBRE 2018 Americas Occupier Survey With more than 10 years of experience in real estate market analysis and consulting, Julie Whelan is the head of occupier research for the Americas at CBRE. Reinvention of workplace standards • Many occupiers are moving toward activity-based work design. This strategy allows users to freely move between a variety of individual and collaborative workspaces as their needs change throughout the day, therefore enhancing productivity and serendipitous interaction. • Targeted unassigned seating is also a trend as it provides the organization with space efficiency gains and reduces the pressures of space management tasks. • The combination of the two, when supported by advanced technology, creates a truly efficient, effective and agile workplace that occupiers are leaning into as they reinvent workplace strategy standards. Forty-six percent of occupiers anticipate migrating to an activity-based workspace curated for employee effectiveness and future design flexibility. Source: CBRE 2018 Americas Occupier Survey and the U.S. construction completion peak is well below historical highs. These facts support the story that workplace efficiency has been the catalyst of workplace change this cycle. Some occupiers are now approaching the thresholds of what feels comfortable and productive in their leased space and turning to more holistic workplace strategies. Efficiency is still a mainstay discussion, and some leading organizations are moving beyond traditional RSF/SF efficiency metrics and looking to capitalize on inefficiencies driven by poor utilization and lack of workplace engagement. At the same time, they are grappling with creating flexible real estate strategies that can monitor and adapt to business needs rather than forecast and plan for business. The resulting strategies are allowing landlords and occupiers to test new ideas that are driving trends in workplace agility and employee experience. CBRE is advising clients by focusing on the role agile real estate strategies can play in providing a competitive advantage for organizations today and tomorrow. i nitial considerations for occupiers • Commit to long-term requirements you know are reasonably certain, and explore flexible space solutions for the rest. • Focus on density and mobility in the workplace over traditional per-seat metrics. • Design a workplace based on functionality for today and adaptability for the future. • Invest resources into technology-enabled amenities, services and programming focused on the employee. • Choose landlords committed to enhancing the overall experience of the building. Both occupiers and landlords are also testing workplace strategies focused on flexibility and experience that solve the more advanced needs of the modern workplace. An enterprise real estate portfolio should be treated as a collection of individual needs requiring a suite of solutions to reach high performance. Appropriately blending traditional and flexible space models according to the present and future needs of the business will help occupiers achieve an agile workplace. H o T o CCUP ier T re N d H o T o CCUP ier T re N d

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