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 3

  • Editorial:
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice papers
    Turning disruption into opportunity: Leading corporate real estate in a post-COVID-19 world
    Lisa M. Chan, Vice President, Global Portfolio and Head of Canada and the Caribbean and Scott P. Foster, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Corporate Real Estate, Royal Bank of Canada

    As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate real estate (CRE) teams will be challenged with helping to define the new ‘workplace’ for now and into the future. Evolving the CRE operating model will be fundamental in supporting the transformation of the workplace, while driving the need for better partnerships and support models for business unit engagement. Building the enhanced employee experience will rely on the successful integration of CRE, human resources (HR), technology and risk in formulating engaging workplaces that enable employees to adapt and thrive within various environments. This paper will show how RBC’s CRE team is turning the disruption of the pandemic into an opportunity to evolve the workplace through increased flexibility, technology, innovation, collaboration, and through the vehicles of employee experience and space-as-a-service.
    Keywords: hybrid work, operating model, flexible work, return to premises, technology, employee experience

  • Trust, flexibility and technology: The keys to creating a more mature workplace
    Luis De Souza, Chief Executive, NFS Technology

    Priorities and behaviours in the workplace have been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic — and business leaders are having to steer their employees through the new world of hybrid working without a roadmap. It is too soon for best practice to be established, and each organisation must discover its own way to succeed. Following the dramatic move to home working forced by the crisis, however, old assumptions and habits have been cast aside. Companies have learned to trust their staff to work hard while out of sight — and employees have enjoyed the responsibility. Bosses are being urged to manage with more empathy, designing work around employee-driven flexibility and better collaboration. So as the workplace continues to adjust, how do workplace leaders continue to respond advantageously to the changed demands of their staff and the evolved requirements of their organisations? Hybrid working, combining remote and in-office activities, can bring benefits in terms of staff well-being, talent retention and — as lockdown working proved — productivity. It also offers potential for reductions in corporate real estate costs and for the more effective utilisation of valuable space. This paper outlines why trust, flexibility and technology are the keys to creating a more mature and democratised workplace, and how business leaders can design their space for a more profitable and productive future.
    Keywords: workplace, workspace, technology, hybrid working, space utilisation, meeting rooms

  • How to turn uncertainty into a corporate real estate opportunity
    Carrie S. Holstead, Chairman Emeritus, ITRA Global and John S. Rice, President, Quarem Real Estate Technologies

    This paper reveals how companies can use their corporate real estate (CRE) to emerge as a winner post-pandemic. Readers will learn how to leverage the lessons learned during the largest work-from-home experiment ever conducted; how to win the talent war as it intensifies; and how to capitalise on an extraordinary opportunity to compete, along with which companies are ideally poised to do so. Additionally, readers will be exposed to some of the trends emerging in lease negotiations for CRE leases, including lease terms, force majeure clauses, termination options, renewal options, standardisation of acceptable lease terms, reliable lease data, and how key performance indicators are being utilised.
    Keywords: pandemic, lease data, trends, lease terms, lease trends, work from home

  • How companies can create a winning site selection process
    Jay Biggins, Executive Managing Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. and Stephen L. Van Soelen J.D., Senior Director, Strategic Real Estate & Facilities Planning, Eli Lilly and Company

    This paper discusses the strategic impetus for companies seeking new locations, summarises the common core disciplines at the heart of best practices for the site selection process, and explores the different approaches that well-run companies are taking in setting location strategy, and in resourcing and organising the process of finding the optimal site to support that strategy.
    Keywords: corporate real estate, site selection, incentives, location strategy

  • New journeys in change: A ‘hybrid’ primer — Part 2
    Neil Usher, Chief Workplace and Change Strategist, GoSpace AI

    As the global COVID-19 pandemic starts to ease and a return — wholly or in part — to the office for many begins, organisations are taking the first tentative steps toward a new, ‘hybrid’ manner of working. The emergent term relates to where we work, essentially comprising a choice between two known locations: office and home. In the absence of case studies, an underlying philosophy of hybrid and behavioural norms that develop over time, organisations are attempting to fashion their own interpretation of the idea reflective of their purpose, culture and strategy. It can be argued that far from being a period of unprecedented change, the pandemic has been characterised by stasis and that its potentially transformative effect is only just starting to be felt upon emergence. On this basis, a clear, effective and flexible method for leading change is required — one that is iterative, organic and truly relevant to the nature of change itself. In Part One of this paper we explored the essence of change (the why), allowing us in this second part to consider in more detail how we enable change and what we specifically need to do to ensure its success. The paper again uses modified extracts from the book Elemental Change.
    Keywords: change, workplace, work, future

  • The great office evolution: Reimagining the workplace
    David Hickey, Managing Director and Guy Douetil, Managing Director, Hickey and Associates

    The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined how and where many of us work. Our new normal requires agility and adaptation from employers and workers. Now both sides have the chance to capitalise on the positive and mitigate the negative. While hybrid and remote work are not new concepts or practices, the scale at which the pandemic has required their use has never before been experienced and is only possible now due to the plenitude of advanced communication and collaboration technologies available. Navigating this forced work experiment through the lens of site selection enables a company to form a comprehensive set of considerations for data collection and objective analysis. This will allow organisations to understand current trends based on historic benchmarking from similar occurrences to maximise potential and minimise risk. No one knows exactly what to do next, but what we do know is the best process to figure it out. This paper discusses how, despire some large corporations introducing hybrid work schedules, allowing employees to work anywhere they like, and some companies even considering cutting workers’ pay if they no longer commute to the office, smarter companies are figuring out how to work within the new normal of mass remote and hybrid workforces. It concludes that businesses need to right-size their real estate portfolio while enabling their remote workforce to produce in the most effective and accommodating way possible.
    Keywords: hybrid work, remote work, location strategy, supply chain and logistics, site selection, labour analytics

  • Indian real estate in the post-COVID-19 era
    Anshul Jain, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield

    COVID-19 forced upon the world an unprecedented number of transformative changes that not only posed significant challenges, but also brought with it opportunities for business. However, India’s real estate sector had already been through its own transformative phase in the years leading up to 2019, with three major policy interruptions — demonetisation (2016), introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (2017) and real estate regulatory authority (2016). After the initial shocks, Indian real estate had begun to rebound, and it was widely expected that this would continue into 2020. But with the advent of COVID-19, real estate was widely expected go into a slump. Today, as we see things in hindsight, COVID-19 has accelerated some of the medium-term transformations that were largely expected to bring Indian real estate level with global best practices. A sustained revenue growth of India’s largest occupier segment — the IT-BPM sector — helped office gross leasing levels in 2020 and 2021 (forecast) stand similar to the average levels clocked in last six years (2014–19). Total workplace ecosystem is a now a more critical factor for occupiers than office rentals and building quality. Testimony to that effect is the higher number of managed spaces (offered by co-working) in 2020 and 2021. In the retail sector, experiential retail is now seen as a major driver of growth for retailers, rather than merely securing a physical store presence. The predominantly unorganised industrial spaces are paving way for stronger demand coming for operators in the organised sector. Data centres are fast emerging, driven by the digitalisation and data localisation. These growth opportunities have naturally attracted attention from institutional investors in the real estate sector. Recent successes by maiden REIT listings in India provide impetus to investors. This paper aims to highlight these sector-by-sector understanding of the transformational forces underway in the Indian commercial real estate, and it appears unfazed by the on-going uncertainty around COVID-19.
    Keywords: commercial real estate (CRE) in India, office space demand from GCCs, total workplace ecosystem in India, Future of Work in India, experiential retail post-COVID in India, investments in Indian CRE, digitisation story and industrial spaces in India

  • Work experience from home: hybrid work and the future of distributed work locations: A comparative empirical analysis between the US and Germany
    Felix Gauger, Research Assistant, Yassien Bachtal, Research Assistant and Andreas Pfnür, Professor of Real Estate Economics and Construction Management, Technical University of Darmstadt

    Already two decades ago it was claimed that ‘work is no longer a place — it is an activity that can be conducted anywhere’. This quote is equally true and false. While COVID-19 demonstrated in a large-scale experiment that a significant proportion of work activities can be performed flexibly and in the home office, the importance of place has come to the forefront of employees’ minds. Although work is not necessarily tied to a place, the location determines the efficiency of work performance to a significant extent. This paper shows how work satisfaction and productivity depend on space and elaborates on future distributed work locations and spatial split where the different activities will ideally be performed. Future work will be multilocal, divided between the ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ place. Whereas the first place — the home office — is ideal for concentrated tasks with high work autonomy, the second place — the corporate office — becomes more and more a place for social interactions and face-to-face tasks. If employees have no ideal work conditions at home, third places — such as coworking spaces — can serve as the ‘first’ place for employees and take over its function, but third places can also serve as a substitute for the second place. Empirical data shows that these alternative work environments will gain traction in the post-COVID world, especially in the US.
    Keywords: work from home setting, home office, work environment, corporate office, third places, hybrid workplace

Volume 11 Number 2

  • Editorial:
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice papers
    Why a hybrid office needs to understand and support employee commutes with transportation information
    Matt Caywood, CEO and Co-founder and Aaron Rinaca, Vice President of Product, Actionfigure

    Commuting will always be a point of friction between employers and employees. It is often cited as the worst part of an employee’s day, and as a critical factor when considering leaving a job or taking a new job. Now, for nearly two years, the traditional home-to-office commute has not been part of the daily routine for a large fraction of the population. As a result, employee sentiments about the return to office are heavily influenced by perceptions of commuting. Employers find themselves in a challenging situation: How to encourage employees to return to the office even a few days a week, while avoiding an increase in turnover, particularly in the currently heated job market? This paper introduces a system of ‘office employee archetypes’ for easier understanding of how employee roles relate to their in-office requirements — and how those employees experience demands to return to commuting. It discusses trends in transportation, hybrid and distributed work, and sustainability that will shape post-pandemic corporate real estate. In addition, it explains how employers can take advantage of the opportunity for a ‘fresh start’ by supporting employees with transportation information software, facilities improvements, benefits, and partnerships with service providers — and how this will increase willingness to return to the office.
    Keywords: workplace experience, transport, parking, commuting, hybrid office, ESG, sustainability

  • Data analytics and change management are transforming the future of the workplace: The opportunity to create value driven harmony between people, place and technology
    Kayla Stallard, Workplace Analyst, American Interiors

    The idea of workplace has been painted in many different shades throughout the years. As workplace disruptors such as COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have an impact on the industry, researchers are taking a closer look at the functionality and purpose of workplace. The goal of obtaining harmony between workplace design and financial benefit has been tried and tried again. Achieving the ‘right’ workplace solution persists to be a moving target. Until recently, organisations did not quite understand just how unique they are. Creating a successful future-proof workplace starts from within. Utilising data-driven insights and change management practices, organisations can plan workplaces that intentionally connect individual needs with space, purpose and mission. This paper explores the ways to unlock insights that both data analytics and change management practices provide. Homing in on deeper connectivity between people, place and technology becomes possible through these practices.
    Keywords: data analytics, organisational value, strategy, alignment, change management, technology, physical space, talent, workplace solution

  • The great workplace reset: Pivoting to the human experience in the war for talent
    Sheila Botting, Principal and President, Americas Professional Services, Avison Young

    The COVID-19 pandemic has required everyone to rethink their traditional approach to live–work–play, radically shaking up the design philosophy of workplaces and office buildings. The paper discusses how employers can create a high-performance workplace, starting with an assessment of current space utilisation and a deep understanding of what employees want from their place of work, today and in the future. A human-centric approach to the workplace can make a significant difference to both the bottom line and the employee experience. Employers that unlock this potential will be rewarded with previously unrealised abilities, energy and commitment. The paper concludes that, post-pandemic, the need for physical and collaborative working space is still strong, but traditional ways of working have changed for good.
    Keywords: workplace experience, war for talent, future of in-office work, workforce of the future, workplace of the future, workplace ecosystem, workplace designed by human experience, the human-centric workplace, commercial real estate offices

  • Information strategy in view of enterprise real estate futures: The evolving role of information systems in corporate real estate and facility management
    David Stillebroer, Lead Solution Director, Planon Software

    In just a few days in March 2020, the planned evolution of the workplace became a radical revolution, quickly uncovering which organisations were prepared to cope with the fast-changing circumstances within their workplace concepts, including IT and facility management (FM), and which were not. This paper explores five key workplace developments and three key technology developments that will affect workplace and real estate strategy this decade and their influence on information strategy and the role of information systems. Together these workplace developments will shape the future of the workplace into a distributed, carbon-neutral and resilient workplace while these technology developments will shape an updated workplace information strategy and related systems to enable workplace digitisation, mobility and resilience. FM experienced accelerated change around the workplace and is now on a fast path to adopting mobile, digitisation and resilience principles. In view of these developments, information strategy should be prepared to drive these changes, not only to support the development of the organisation into a distributed and carbon-neutral workplace today, but also to prepare workplace resilience for future disruptions. Embracing diversity and managing complexity via an open platform approach is expected to be key in an information strategy that supports this future of the workplace.
    Keywords: information strategy, distributed work, environmental social and corporate governance (ESG), resilience, PropTech, platforms

  • Liberated work: Responding to the unshackling of ‘work’ from ‘place’
    John Preece, Chief Property Officer, Hub Australia

    The largest health crisis of our time has convincingly unshackled ‘work’ from ‘place’, but we have only seen the beginning of hybrid work solutions. In fact, our existing concept of hybrid work is simply a rudimentary stepping-stone towards a version of flexibility that is yet to be widely seen: truly liberated work. This paper seeks to explore how companies will transform their work practices to enable a liberated work environment. Knowledge workers, who are in very high demand and have suddenly become a critical customer segment for organisations, will experience no limits to their freedom of thought, behaviour or location in this new landscape. In addition, we explore how businesses can deliver a fluid workplace ecosystem, which includes a broad network of workspaces that go well beyond the binary options of working from ‘home’ or the ‘office’, and outline how every business department must contribute to creating and implementing a solution. The ramifications of this ongoing shift for corporate real estate and the broader commercial office market, which is experiencing a continuing state of flux globally, is a crucial consideration in discussions on the future of work. Delivering liberated work should be on the agenda for all organisations, large, small and government, as planning for the democratisation of work practices can ensure productivity, employee retention and improved diversity in years to come.
    Keywords: hybrid work, liberated work, workplace, work practices, working from home, flexible workspace

  • Why and how formal relational contracts will improve your next corporate real estate outsourcing deal
    Kate Vitasek, Faculty Member, Haslam College of Business, David Frydlinger, Managing Partner, Cirio Law Firm, Magnus Kuchler, Partner and Alexander Lundin, Director, EY Consulting Services

    Relational contracting is not new. But the concept of formal relational contracting is new, especially in the corporate real estate/facility management (CRE/FM) arena. This paper shares the latest research and thinking on relational contracts and explains how using a formal relational contract can boost collaboration and trust with your CRE outsourcing partner. Since the early 1960s, pioneering legal scholars such as Stewart Macaulay and Ian Macneil began promoting the value of the softer ‘relational’ side of contracts. In fact, Macaulay’s original 1963 article on the topic would become the most-cited article in contract law. These pioneers shone a light in the legal and economic fields that fostered intense interest. Still, the concept of using relational contracting practices and relational contracts has never really taken off, specifically in CRE/FM agreements. We believe the time has come for formal relational contracts to take centre stage, especially in light of the need for flexibility and collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: corporate real estate (CRE), facilities management (FM), relational contracts, outsourcing, Vested, Vested outsourcing, contracting, collaborative contracting, Oliver Hart, Stewart Macaulay, Ian Macneil, COVID-19

  • India’s transforming post-pandemic workplace: The emerging role of the hybrid work model
    Amit Ramani, Founder and CEO, Awfis Space Solutions

    This paper discusses the dynamic taking place in the workplace sphere and the inevitable rise of a new workplace model — a combination of in-office work and work-from-home as well as near-home. The years 2020 and 2021 saw many companies transitioning to a remote work culture during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now organisations are reconsidering their office strategies for the future. In the post-pandemic era, corporates are looking for an innovative solution that would help them seamlessly combine office work efficiency with the safety and convenience of their resilient workforce. The paper aims to put the spotlight on the factors that have the paved the way for a hybrid approach to work and the implications of this structure on Indian commercial real estate. Developments in technologies and consumer behaviour have led many companies across the globe to gravitate towards an entirely new way of working, because workplaces have evolved from a destination where people work to a vibrant space that fosters collaboration, talent and engagement. Employees are in favour of the flexibility they experienced while working remotely for a year and a half and organisations need to take this very important need into account or risk losing valuable talent to competition.
    Keywords: hybrid workplaces, workplace, Indian commercial real estate, traditional workplaces, workplace transformation, hybrid offices

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