The Global COVID-19 Pandemic is expected to act as a catalyst for transformational change upending business models everywhere. Whilst limited supply and predictable demand requirements have helped protect the Property Industry in the past, a fundamental reorientation of the value chain may be ahead as the Industry reforms around the end users of space, i.e. Corporate Occupiers, who are challenged with demands to creatively support increasingly fluid business models whilst also focusing on operational cost efficiency savings.
This thought leadership article explores some of the changes which may arise and puts forward suggestions addressing how Corporate Occupiers can prepare for the Great Reset ahead.
No Ordinary Disruption
Whilst disruption is inevitable, the speed, scope and scale of the current digital revolution is of a magnitude never seen before with twenty thousands years of progress expected during the 21st century.
– Ray Kurzweil
The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly mark a major turning point for the Property Industry as organisations challenge the status quo, conscious of the need to set a new strategic direction.
Aggregate days spent in central offices are forecast to fall in the order of 30% as agile / remote working practices are normalised which in turn may trigger a major repurposing and rationalisation of corporate real estate as organisation simultaneously realign to a post pandemic environment and heighten costs pressures.
End of presenteeism and widespread adoption of remote working practices, reflect both employee preferences to continue working from home and a new normal in accepted working practices with 2-3 days a week in the office expected to become more typical for many knowledge workers.
Whilst the property industry has remained relatively immune to the impact of digital disruption over the last 20 years, the pandemic has undoubtedly redefined the corporate real estate landscape and forced the future of work to arrive earlier than expected.
As the Industry prepares for a paradigm shift in demand, Corporate Occupiers everywhere will likely spend the next 12 -18 months rethinking aggregate space requirements, re-articulating the purpose of their corporate footprint and exploring alternative workplace solutions.
Anywhere, anyplace, anytime may become the new mantra for many corporate real estate executives if, as expected, widespread adoption of distributed working practices remain in place long after the pandemic is finally tamed.
As the corporate footprint is rationalised and repurposed, a more competitive market for occupiers will likely arise. Whilst new hybrid office models will cement changes in the workplace landscape, including lower space per employee metrics, it is also evident that many Corporate Occupiers may be willing to invest significantly more in their ‘core’ real estate holdings as demand for smart office technologies increases in parallel with rising investment in collaboration technologies.
The tidal wave of disruption ahead, coupled with; major space rationalisation programs, a more competitive market for occupiers and repurposing of the corporate footprint will likely result in a reorientation of the Property Industry around the occupier and a pivot from project to customer centric business models.
If investment in digital collaboration tools has been key to the successful adoption of distributed working models for knowledge workers, is it now time to consider what type of new ‘collaborative discovery’ tools may be needed by Corporate Occupiers?
Collaborative Discovery for Corporate Occupiers
Everyone wants to discover what the markets knows.
What if the corporate occupier knew what the corporate occupier knows ?
I am crowdsourcing invitations to shape future thinking and offering up a presentation of our proof-of-concept pitchbook as an ideation exercise for corporate occupiers (client-side representatives responsible for the management of their corporate estate interests).
So do please schedule a call back and let’s explore together how a more collaborative approach to managing a corporate footprint could help unlock a kaleidoscope of win-win discoveries and save money.
So do please schedule a call back and let’s explore together whether a more collaborative approach to managing a corporate footprint exists.