Volume 11 (2021-22)

Each volume of Corporate Real Estate Journal consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 11 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The articles published in Volume 11 are listed below. 

Volume 11 Number 1

  • Editorial: Safeguarding social wellbeing in the foreseen future of hybrid working
    Rianne Appel-Meulenbroek, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Editorial thought pieces
    The end of corporate real estate — revisited
    Glen Wong, Senior Vice President of Transaction Sciences, Transwestern
  • The workplace post-COVID-19: Embrace the new normal or back to the future?
    Alan Scott, Principal, Springdale
  • Diversity, inclusion and effective business transactions
    James Hagy, Distinguished Lecturer in Residence, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Practice papers
    Workforce segmentation: Connecting workplace supply and demand
    DeJeana Chappell, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, et al.

    It is important that real estate space planning be highly responsive to workforce planning. As workforce demographics, behaviours and needs change, real estate should support these changes accordingly. Pre-pandemic, there were many organisations which over-provisioned space (eg 1:1 people to seats, high ratios of individual to collaboration space, low utilisation) and operated in a business-as-usual approach when it came to facility planning. Innovative real estate solutions are rooted in a thorough understanding of the workforce and are designed to reflect how an organisation needs to work to be successful. The pandemic has revealed that a greater level of job flexibility is sustainable and desirable for many, meaning that workplace strategies will account for a broad spectrum of work locations and arrangements moving forward. With this added complexity, conducting workforce segmentation analysis is a key first step toward a more defined plan for real estate needs. This paper articulates the benefits of using workforce segmentation as a tool to support real estate decision making. In addition, it outlines a segmentation process that organisations can institute to memorialise the unique needs of their employees and better gauge how their workplace can support them. Finally, it provides examples of how organisations have leveraged the segmentation process to better understand the demand for space and accurately evaluate footprint requirements and long-term strategies.
    Keywords: employee segmentation, work styles, future of work, flexibility, workforce, workplace

  • Corporate headquarters leasing: Key considerations for a post-pandemic workplace
    Kris Ferranti, Partner and Jonathan Newman, Associate, Shearman & Sterling

    Among the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the corporate world, an unprecedented number of offices were left empty as, for months on end, thousands of employees worked from home. Today, as the number of vaccinated employees rises and mask mandates loosen, many employers are revisiting existing headquarters leases — or seeking out new ones — amid a heightened push for hybrid work policies and open and flex-office spaces. In the wake of this rapidly changing landscape, this paper examines the key legal and business considerations companies must keep in mind when leasing their corporate headquarters, including: what to consider in selecting premises; tips and details around the process of interviewing leasing brokers, designers, engineers, architects, construction professionals and project managers; and how best to assemble internal and external teams. As the world continues to wrestle with the long-standing impacts of the pandemic, the decisions companies make now about their headquarters will sketch a critical roadmap for the corporate world for years to come.
    Keywords: headquarters, law, lease, leasing, office, corporate, real estate

  • New data sources in the age of hybrid work
    Melissa Marsh, Founder and Executive Director, PLASTARC

    In a previous issue of Corporate Real Estate Journal, the author wrote about “examining trends in the use of workplace data”. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted workplaces everywhere. The author’s recent experience with clients and conversations with fellow workplace experts suggest that data trends are now moving toward more granularity and customisation, aligned with the increasing ability of the individual to design their own workplace experience. This paper discusses the profound implications for the kinds of data available to tenants and owners, as well as for the strategies that will be most supportive of employee success and well-being.
    Keywords: strategy, people analytics, building technology, self-quantification, hybrid workplace

  • Real-estate-as-a-service: The servitisation-led transformation of corporate real estate
    Calvin Chua, Co-Founder, Zenith Real Estate Services and Davin Wang, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Really

    The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has immutably changed not only how products and services are produced, but also the way they are delivered and consumed. Enabled by advances in technology such as sensor networks powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data analytics, the servitisation-led transformation of business models emphasises a provision of ‘access’ rather than ‘ownership’. In other words, end users pay for ‘service-based outcomes’ instead of the ownership of products. Business models employing servitisation strategies are broadly categorised as ‘everything-as-a-service’ (XaaS) and are likewise increasingly found in corporate real estate (CRE). Real-estate-as-a-service (REaaS) points to an amalgamation of various XaaS models that are now proliferating in the CRE space. Such services are popular, given flexible consumption pricing structures whereby access to space, amenities and services is scalable and provided on-demand, freeing the end user from the financial burdens of asset ownership and the risk of obsolescence due to advances in technology. In the process, REaaS also creates new possibilities for CRE’s future where the importance of physical real estate assets in creating business outcomes, operational efficiencies and employee engagement may potentially diminish. This paper explores the servitisation-led transformation of CRE by discussing its origins, underlying drivers and challenges, in linkage with overarching industry themes, with the aim of adding cross-disciplinary insight to the literature.
    Keywords: real-estate-as-a-service (REaaS), everything-as-a-service (XaaS), servitisation, leasing, Internet of Things (IoT), digitalisation, corporate real estate (CRE), asset-light

  • Change from crisis: CRE and smart building technology — the power duo supporting the hybrid work model
    Elisa Rönkä, Head of Digital Market Development, Siemens Smart Infrastructure

    This paper examines the role of real estate in crisis management and explores how the emergence of the post-pandemic hybrid workplace has accelerated the development of smart building technologies that will be pivotal to supporting employees back into the office and instilling confidence in their safety. It also describes how space management, space efficiency and workplace technology foster flexibility, collaboration and choice as businesses steer their way to a new era.
    Keywords: hybrid workplace, workplace technology, smart buildings, crisis management, next normal, space management

  • The innovation deficit: The importance of the physical office post-COVID-19
    Kerstin Sailer, Professor, University College London, Matt Thomas, Assistant Professor, University of Birmingham, Ros Pomeroy, Co-founder and Rosica Pachilova, Associate, brainybirdz

    After more than a year of dealing with the fallout from COVID-19, much has been learnt about the benefits of working from home. There is plenty of evidence for people wishing to retain at least some of the flexibility that working from home has brought post-pandemic. What has also been shown, however, is that a well-designed office is more often better than home at supporting some types of activity, especially those involving socialisation and collaboration with others. This paper takes stock of what the office is good for and argues that without opportunities to meet in unplanned ways face-to-face, innovation, the lifeblood of many businesses, is at risk. In so doing, a different way to think about the post-pandemic office is proffered — one that is designed to realise the benefits that being physically co-present can bring and thus avoid the so-called innovation deficit. By using this way of thinking, this paper concludes with an evaluation of how some organisations are already ‘reimagining’ their post-pandemic workplaces.
    Keywords: COVID-19, workplace strategy, workplace design, face-to-face interaction, unplanned encounter, innovation

  • Book review
    Elemental Change: Making stuff happen when nothing stands still by Neil Usher
    Reviewed by Jennifer Bryan, Director, ABChange Consultancy