The Leader Magazine

JUN 2019

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th E l E ad E r JUNE 2019 31 by Sanjay r ishi C EOs are fighting battles on many fronts, including the war for talent, the pressure to be innovative and achieve digital transformation and, as always, the fight for strong financial returns. More than ever before, the corporate real estate (CRE) function has a mandate to drive the change that's needed for a company to thrive – and new research articulates that value. As a CRE leader, you've likely always believed in the CRE function's potential to influence business performance. Now, JLL's latest Future of Work global CRE survey provides the hard evidence you've been waiting for. As our research shows, "Future Fit" CRE teams are proactively reshaping the C-suite view of CRE and helping their enterprises transform to survive the myriad of disruptive forces at work in the marketplace. The current Future of Work survey reveals a strong C-suite mandate to improve overall business performance – illuminating just how far our profession has come. In contrast, when we surveyed CRE professionals in 2015, we reported only a growing pressure to elevate the function and achieve excellence beyond cost reduction and transactions. That pressure is reaching a boiling point. i s your C re team f uture f it – or faltering? To help the enterprise transform, the work must begin inside the CRE team. Most significantly, our research illustrates how aspirational Future Fit CRE teams are advancing broader business goals and helping increase profitability. By JLL's analysis, companies with Future Fit CRE teams grew profits by an average of 31 percent from 2015 to 2018, while the remainder grew profits only by 19 percent. At present, only about 20 percent of CRE executives belong to the coveted Future Fit cohort. The secrets of their success? They're focused on advancing larger enterprise goals, particularly those related to embracing digitization and technology. Future Fit CRE professionals are collaborators and innovators, early to pilot new technologies and new flexible- space solutions. They're savvy about outsourcing, looking to their partners for an infusion of technology, data expertise and business intelligence, along with innovative approaches to workplace productivity and the employee experience. And, they're using non-traditional metrics to measure their progress. Future Fit CRE leaders recognize that driving change within their organizations requires alignment with other business functions and the C-suite. Forty-five percent of the Future Fit teams are fully integrated with the C-suite, finance, procurement, information technology and human resources (HR). And, nearly half of the Future Fit cohort reports full integration with HR, suggesting a focus on shared priorities and initiatives to advance the human-experience agenda. Perhaps most important, Future Fit CRE leaders are empowered by their C-suite leaders to pursue greater impact across human experience, financial performance, operational excellence, digital drive and innovation – the five dimensions JLL has defined as necessary for the Future of Work. More than half of the Future Fit say that their C-suites recognize CRE's ability to add value, especially in the dimension of human experience. t he human experience edge As the war for talent continues, the majority of CRE professionals say that the human experience in the workplace is where their team can add the most value. Where the Future Fit differ is that they're far more likely than other CRE professionals to focus on improved employee wellbeing as the most desired outcome of human-experience initiatives. Sky's new head office in London, for example, includes broad flights of steps designed to encourage staff to linger and converse. Google, HBO and Deutsche Bank offer meditation spaces and programs for their employees – features that are cost-effective and that improve employee wellbeing by helping reduce stress. e mbracing C re technology In 2015, JLL's Future of Work global CRE research revealed that insufficient data and analytics were preventing CRE teams from adding strategic value to their organizations. Even today, CRE spending is low – but priorities are shifting. In fact, CRE technology is expected to be the No. 1 area for increased investment over the next three years. Where the Future Fit among us stand out is in their attitude toward new technologies. A whopping 62 percent of Future Fit leaders are early adopters – but only 17 percent of all others say the same. Virtually all of the Future Fit have adopted or are planning to adopt workspace and employee experience applications, automated end-to-end workflow systems, virtual reality and immersive technology, and self-service business- intelligence tools. Companies like McDonald's are early adopters of workplace mobile applications to improve employee engagement and workplace operations. McDonald's created a new smart, connected headquarters in downtown Chicago that incorporates state-of-the-art smart-building technologies. A workplace mobile application includes employee tools for workplace services and back-end tools for facilities staff. Additionally, Capital One introduced an employee-facing application that helps employees access real-time transportation services, report a facilities problem, find daily cafeteria menus and more. The application is integrated with a mobile facility- management platform for the facility-management team. o n the frontlines of innovation Far more than their peers, Future Fit CRE teams build innovation ecosystems to keep new ideas percolating. At Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), for example, the entire CRE team has attended the financial services company's internal "Innovation in a Box" training to learn how to infuse creativity into everyday activities. As RBC pursues its digital transformation vision, the CRE team is empowered to explore and pilot the most promising new CRE technologies such as artificial intelligence,

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