5 Trends Shaping The Future Of Global Real Estate Markets

Amenities, services, technology and flexibility are top priorities for the future workplace.
  • The 5 key drivers shaping future occupational demand, according to Knight Frank
  • Among them, businesses are seeking to increase productivity by creating better and more positive workplace experiences
  • Amenities, services, technology and flexibility are top priorities for the future workplace

Knight Frank’s first edition of “(Y)Our Space: Insights from the Global Workplace” report looks at the changing role of real estate in business strategy.

A few weeks ago, Allwork.Space published an article on how to future proof a workplace based on findings from this Knight Frank report. Yet, there’s more to keep in mind.

“Real estate decisions influence and reinforce an array of business priorities – from talent management, corporate and social responsibility, inclusion and diversity, to the transformation of corporate culture and brand or the restructuring of business models in light of rapid technological advances.”

But, what are the forces driving these decisions?

In order to future proof a space, it’s crucial that flexible workspace operators and businesses understand the key drivers that will shape future occupational demand. Long-gone are the days when real estate decisions were made in an effort to reduce costs; real estate decisions today are all about increasing productivity by strengthening the interaction between people and property.

According to Knight Frank, “there are five themes that will shape future occupational demand across global real estate markets.”

1. The Productivity Push. Businesses are interested in increasing productivity by creating a better workplace experience enriched by services and amenities. “The approach is no longer one of providing the bare necessities of workplace, but instead about enhancing the experience of those working within the workplace. The simple rationale is that positive workplace experiences lead to happier workers; and when workers are happy they typically tend to be more productive and effective.”

2. Next Wave Technologies. New technologies will create a new type of occupational demand. These technologies will “bring about the closer interaction of humans and machines in support of greater corporate productivity.” Additionally, these technologies will also help businesses enhance the workplace experience as they can provide valuable data and insights into space utilization and flow. (Suggested reading: 3 Technologies that will Greatly Impact the Workplace by 2020)

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3. Changing Corporate Constitutions. New workforce generations as well as technological advances have transformed the way people work and interact with each other. This has led organizations to reshape the way they are structured and the way they approach work formats, which in turn has altered the workplace; “for example, they can strengthen the need for more flexible, collaborative workspace that improves interaction between staff.”

4. Space as a Service Becomes the Demand Default. We already know coworking is the new normal. “The workplace is becoming a flexible business service that can actively support growth, rather than a fixed and often (to the occupier) financially onerous physical product.” This new “normal” has forced landlords and property owners to rethink their approach to attracting and retaining tenants, which is why property groups have started to delve into the flexible workspace industry and take a community and wellness oriented approach to their real estate portfolios.

5. Mobility and Mergers Underpin Occupier Activity. A global economy means a global pool of talent. “There will be a conscious movement towards workspaces close to talent pools, but which also have the amenity, service and infrastructure to assist in the retention of that talent.” There will be a rise in suburban coworking and companies will increasingly seek to open offices or headquarters in tech-driven cities or head over to innovation or entrepreneurial city hubs.

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