- According to JLL’s new Future of Work Survey, companies are driving a long-term transformation of their real estate portfolio to succeed in a post-pandemic world.
- Decision-makers in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry can’t ignore the lasting impact of hybrid work on their organization in the future.
- In order to guarantee long-term growth, occupiers need to increase their investments in locations, as well as workers, as the office becomes a destination for hybrid employees.
JLL’s new Future of Work Survey has revealed that the next three years will be a critical phase for commercial real estate (CRE) strategy.
The survey polled 1,000 CRE decision-makers across the world in order to gauge what the future of the workplace will look like, as well as what leaders will need to do in order to keep up with an evolving work sphere.
According to the survey, there are five key messages that should be understood about the future of the workplace. These include:
- Hybrid working is here to stay and calls for the rejuvenation of the office
- Investing in quality space will be a greater priority than expanding total footprint
- Environmental and social aspirations will shape future portfolio transformation
- CRE functions need to double down on intelligent technology investments
- Real estate needs are becoming more sophisticated and complex
Predictions for the real estate industry
Organizations had to quickly adapt to support their workforce through a global pandemic, which spurred the massive uptick in hybrid and remote working. The growth of workplace technologies also rose quickly to support corporate real estate functions to managing these new flexible ways of working.
“Our research highlights that companies are driving a long-term transformation of their real estate portfolio to succeed in a post-pandemic world. They are pursuing new strategic workforce opportunities and, consequently, are reprioritizing their future spending to align with these goals,” according to the JLL survey.
In future, CRE industry decision-makers can’t ignore the lasting impact of hybrid work on their organization. They must also understand that real estate is an essential and valuable contributor in the ESG (environmental, social and governance) movement, and without investment in both data and technology it will become more difficult to achieve their goals for performance and resilience.
Organizations cannot deny the value and importance of the hybrid work model
Flexibility isn’t something that workers will so easily give up, which is why 53% of organizations will make remote working permanently available to all employees by 2025.
The number of employers not offering some form of hybrid working option has dropped from 45% pre-pandemic to 9% currently, which means the vast majority of occupiers in JLL’s research “recognize that providing hybrid working options is essential to attracting and retaining talent,” according to the study.
In order to guarantee long-term growth, occupiers need to increase their investments in locations, as well as in workers, as the office becomes a destination for hybrid employees.
Decision-makers will need to ensure that the space their organization occupies now, and in the future, is optimized to encourage employees to spend time in the office, which will enable organizations to support their broader employee health and wellbeing goals.
Organizations will need to prioritize environmental, social and governance initiatives
Stakeholder expectations around ESG outcomes are increasing, and according to JLL, decision-makers say they are focusing more on achieving positive environmental and social impacts through their real estate.
Now, they’re facing pressure and scrutiny to deliver clear environmental and social outcomes over smaller periods of time.
“A large majority of organizations in our research say their employees will increasingly expect the workplace to have a positive impact on the environment. As a result, green credentials are now highly important to future portfolios, and environmental commitments and decarbonization roadmaps are at the forefront of decision-makers’ thinking,” according to the survey.
ESG motivations are not purely environmental. Almost 80% of companies say that their employees expect their workplace to have a positive impact on society. Because of this, increasing investment in social considerations has actually become as important as funding environmental objectives.
ESG strategies are being addressed through CRE
Over the next three years (besides occupying green certified buildings), there are other strategies that corporations are now prioritizing in order to boost their progress towards net zero targets.
According to JLL, these include:
- Operating facilities in a more carbon-efficient way: 46% of occupiers in JLL’s research plan to increase investment toward improving carbon efficiency of their buildings.
- Influencing new location selection: 43% will heighten their focus on embedding net zero carbon requirements into the process of selecting new locations.
- Embracing circular design principles: 37% plan to push forward investments that will ensure that refurbishments are dictated by circular design principles.
- Exiting less carbon-efficient space: 36% will be especially focused on moving away from spaces that are less carbon-efficient.