EQ Office president and CEO Lisa Picard’s experience in real estate has given her insight on office property trends involving technology, coworking, and late stage funding in tech markets.
Picard said that 2018 was a year in which technology shaped life and work. Rather than productivity, the workforce became about effectiveness.
“That leads really into sort of all of us speaking about convenience of experience, which is both a physical and a digital thing—I would say probably digital first and then physical,” said Picard. “The digital being the convenience part, the experience being the physical … And so that finds its way into the workplace, and we obviously saw in 2018 an even bigger growth in the use of flexible space and coworking space.”
Metro areas are expected to see a big growth in the office sector in areas where late state investments come in and create high employee growth. Simply put: more employees equals more demand for space.
Looking towards 2019, Picard said EQ Office’s business strategy is a continuation of what it did the previous year — focusing on customer experience and evolving the product.
This includes productizing the company’s real estate. That is, differentiating their product for individuals based off of their specific business needs, not necessarily focusing on the capital side of the industry.
Technology has changed how the workforce operates. For example, cloud computing allows work to happy just about anywhere, Wi-Fi provides reliability, and cybersecurity is stronger than ever.
In the next several years, Picard expects to see a continuing growth of flex offices, hybrid office strategy (offering a blend of HQ and flexible space), and a boom in remote working.