The ongoing future of work and real estate that will facilitate it

The ongoing future of work and real estate that will facilitate it, based on a global survey of ULI, was the subject of a great discussion that we attended yesterday, moderated by Stelios Bouras.

Companies – even before the pandemic- were looking for cost decrease via space management optimization, which led to new workplace typologies;  from low density assigned offices to higher density desk sharing and activity based workplaces. The focus of workplace design had already shifted on more human-centered approaches focusing on employees’ and companies’ well-being.

It seems that productivity is performing well on Working From Home mode, but for how long? We are now on an emergency temporary mode, but what if this condition was supposed to go on forever? Working From Home and having this balance blurring effect between worklife and the rest of our life for the rest of our lives will it be sustainable and healthy?

Let’s investigate on what Lee Cal said; what are the reasons to get people in the office? There has to be a clear reason to go to the office.

The office space is not only real estate and relative metrics. It is where people work, meet, collaborate, brainstorm, and socialize in person, share ideas and feelings, where people live and create together.

We feel that what comes first is the satisfaction and engagement of what we do. Our work has to satisfy both our basic needs and our mental, psychological and social evolution.  It is not for granted that all of us enjoy and engage to our work. This is a parameter that we cannot leave aside when counting productivity.

I focus on two key insights that were discussed, which are quality and human-centricity as the drivers for the workplace of the future.

Human-centered focusing on people’s needs, either if that is common spaces for socializing and collaboration, or spacious and safe workstations, healthy working environments that facilitate productivity and creativity. Since people’s needs may change through time flexibility of space is a key parameter.

Quality of space is based on design, space qualities and performance, sustainability and comfort conditions.

The demand for human-centered and high quality working environments has not been affected from the pandemic condition but maybe has been accelerated as Romen Journo indicated. He explicitly referred that the value is on the quality of working life and that workplace should be evaluated holistically.

We identify a shift from workspace as an asset to workspace as a service, a workplace that fosters for the company culture to embrace people’s satisfaction, well-being and performance.

Advocating and promoting  the value on workplace quality can offer added value on real estate investements.