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SEP-OCT 2015

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and life sciences. This is affecting facilities management and real estate portfolio choices in a profound way. To respond to these "VUCA" factors, CRE experts have to be flexible and understand what is driving the businesses they represent. Q The survey shows that improving workplace productivity is the top outcome expected from the CRE team. The survey also reveals that 59 percent of respondents report increasing demand from leadership to support w ider cu ltur al change w ithin their organizations, such as new workplace strategies. What does this mean in daily practice? There is no doubt that the overarching priorities for CRE teams today include focusing on the end-user experience, i n c l u d i n g w o r k e r a n d w o r k p l a c e productivity and worker enablement. Corporate real estate teams are closer to the business decision makers than ever before. With CRE more joined up with HR and IT, they are inf luencing C-suite decisions – that's where we see the most impact on workplace strateg y, culture and productivity. Also, by plugging in to technological advances, efficiency and productivity will continue to increase. Look out for more disruptive technologies that will help drive the workplace change agenda. "The most significant skills gap we see consistently is in the area of data, analytics and business intelligence. There simply aren't enough data-savvy professionals who also have and understanding of CRE." Q S e v e n t y - t h r e e p e r c e n t o f respondents to this year's survey say their mandate to globalize is stronger or much stronger than three years ago, and 61 percent expect greater centralization and control in the CRE function in the next three years. How does this play out inside CRE departments? Corporate real estate used to be about buildings, and now it's about people. The CRE profession is shifting its strategy from just the physical real estate assets to include the workplace and ultimately, the worker. Real estate strategy has a direct impact on employees and can influence worker productivity, employee wellbeing, employee experience, recruitment and retention. This creates the potential for CRE to become a source of real competitive advantage. To shift this focus, companies are centralizing and integrating shared services and are in the process getting "thin"—consolidating the bulk of their real estate infrastructure, support personnel, enterprise services and software applications with fewer partners. They are leveraging service providers' global platforms and advanced technologies to reduce costs, deliver services, manage risks and globalize the real estate function. Teams are using advanced data and analytics techniques to innovate, provide insights and guide decision making. Q Clearly, the CRE function is rapidly evolving. What's next? We are s e eing more de velop e d and sophisticated outsourcing models. As a whole, these new structures look at strategic outcomes over tactical metrics and integrate shared risks and rewards into relationships. Corporate real estate departments are becoming more integrated with enterprise- wide technology platforms—and in the process, more collaborative with other corporation functions, particularly through shared services models. G e o g r a p h i c a l l y, t h e f u n c t i o n i s e volv i ng a s wel l . We w i l l s e e more cor por at ions mov i ng i nto emerg i ng markets and more CRE leaders coming from those geographies. I also expect new oppor t u n it ies to emerge i n t he Retail, Utilities, Higher Education and Healthcare sectors, where outsourcing models are still very traditional, and there is a huge opportunity to evolve. These are exciting times in CRE. For those who grasp the opportunities and shifts underway, the career opportunities are vast and those who choose this path will have a rich career ahead. JLL's third biennial "Global Corporate Real Estate Trends" survey report tracks insights from 544 CRE executives in 36 countries. To request a full copy of the survey report, visit www.jll.com/globalCREtrends. John Forrest is CEO – Corporate Solutions, Americas for JLL. September/October 2015 | the LEADER 31

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