The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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Page 33 of 55

F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Kay Sargent, ASID, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, MCR.w, WELL AP, is a co-director of HOK's WorkPlace practice with more than 30 years of experience in workplace design and strategy issues. As a regional leader, Sharon Turner, ARIDO, LEED® AP, has been leading HOK's WorkPlace team in the Toronto market for 20 years. Gordon Wright, also a co-director of HOK's WorkPlace practice, leads diverse project teams to solve challenges related to real estate business process, strategic planning, workplace strategy and change management. C re trends influencing financial services companies How do CRE executives in the financial sector address specific problems within their portfolios? Looking to the next three years, HOK's global survey reveals these key takeaways: • Companies tend to lease real estate in urban environments. • The portfolio is expected to largely remain static. • Rightsizing the portfolio to achieve cost savings and give employees more workplace choices are top drivers for space programs. • The cost of real estate will continue to be the single most important factor influencing workspace allocation. • As hierarchy and tenure become less impor- tant, appealing to changing demographics becomes more important. • The fastest-growing space types include nap rooms and quiet zones. • In urban locations, most companies don't intend to offer amenities like daycare or a gym, instead relying on the local community to provide these services. • Employees are most dissatisfied by their inability to manage distractions, access meeting rooms and maintain privacy. • The best-performing elements of the work- place are choice of setting, flexibility and unassigned space. • Companies appreciate and want sustain- able design and will increase their focus on employee well-being (though often without seeking formal LEED or WELL certification). • Companies expect to accommodate growth through a combination of taking more square feet and leveraging new sharing ratios (the preferred option). 34 September 2018 the leader zones, outdoor space or contemplative spaces that enable deep thought – can improve staff well-being and productivity. Unassigned enclaves and quiet zones increase mindfulness. Addressing acoustics, thermal comfort and indoor air quality can have a positive impact on performance and satisfaction. It's also important to provide ergonomically designed spaces and access to natural elements, daylight and views. In response to ergonomic needs, companies are encouraging standing meetings, incorporating sit-to-stand work settings, and providing perching stools. Some companies are centralizing amenity spaces such as gyms and cafés to create community hubs for their people. These on-site amenities help keep employees motivated and improve their work-life balance. Others are incorporating elements from hospitality, retail and higher education to create spaces that support the needs of their emerging workforce. Tech bars, lounge spaces, coffee counters and multipurpose spaces that act as learning spaces are emerging as go-to amenities within the financial sector. r etail bank trends Though overall branch bank visits are declining as more people do their banking on mobile devices, the retail branch remains the channel with which customers report having the most positive experiences. Because people still want in-person interactions, these retail branches will endure as a cornerstone of banking. But the physical environments of these banks must adapt to support an experience that makes customers feel welcome and comfortable. Some branch banks are being designed to look more like a coffee shop or coworking space. Experiential design elements also reinforce branding and communicate the bank's mission and purpose. f ast forward Geopolitical shifts, emerging technologies and currencies, and new regulations will continue to shake up the financial sector. But this is an industry that has always had to contend with change. It's the speed at which today's changes are occurring that requires financial companies to be especially agile and lean – and to reimagine how and where they work. Editor's note: This article is adapted from a new white paper available on CoreNet Global's Knowledge Center at

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