Volume 12 (2022-23)

Each volume of Corporate Real Estate Journal consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 12 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

The articles published in Volume 12 are listed below. 

Volume 12 Number 2

  • Editorial:
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice papers
    Starting with purpose: How a people-first strategy can support real estate decisions
    Melony Bethala, Managing Director, Workplace Strategy and Human Experience and Roy Abernathy, Global Strategy and Consulting Lead, Newmark

    This paper reflects real-time client experiences, outlines challenges and opportunities that organisations are facing as the world emerges into a new normal and provides a lens for a people first strategy that supports real estate decisions and walks through industry-specific considerations. The Newmark Workplace Strategy and Human Experience team believes that starting with purpose and focusing first on how employees experience and are impacted by the workplace will drive organisational success through periods of uncertainty.
    Keywords: workplace strategy, future of work, new normal, workplace after COVID-19, employee behaviours, real estate decision making

  • Using data-driven design to create a flexible and adaptable real estate portfolio while enhancing your employee experience
    Cristiano Testi, Principal Director and Georgina Reissing, Workplace Consultant, tp bennett

    Using data-driven design can provide space for innovation and collaboration across the workplace, but without consulting the people who use the space and understanding their insight around their ways of working, the data can only take us so far. As Jay Baer said, ‘We are surrounded by data, but starved for insights’. These insights can drive designs forward, creating a flexible and adaptable workspace. Post-COVID-19, flexible and adaptable space has become paramount to organisations, allowing them to flex in headcount daily, adapt to unforeseen events such as sudden growth, and attract and retain top talent from further afield. It can also enhance the employee experience by offering various work settings.
    Keywords: data-driven design, employee experience

  • The role of commercial real estate in shaping our carbon future
    Lisa Conway, VP of Sustainability — Americas and Jon Khoo, Head of Sustainability — EAAA, Interface

    The urgency of the ongoing climate crisis requires swift action from all industries. This includes commercial real estate as the building industry is responsible for nearly 39 per cent of annual global energy-related carbon emissions. It is critical that the real estate sector focuses on reducing both operational and embodied carbon emissions to effectively decarbonise our built spaces. This paper discusses the role that the commercial real estate sector plays in reversing global warming and the resources, tools and organisations already available for companies and individuals looking to begin to reduce their carbon footprint. It also details the two types of carbon emitted by our buildings and the importance of focusing on embodied carbon for substantial change. Readers will walk away with actionable steps they can take to lower the carbon footprint of commercial real estate.
    Keywords: climate change, carbon emissions, building life cycle, net zero, embodied carbon, carbon reduction, wellness

  • The great upgrade: Why human performance metrics will drive the future of the workplace
    Kate Davis, Global Practice Director, Elizabeth Fallon, Architect and Casey Lindberg, Senior Design Researcher, HKS Architects

    As we redefine the workplace in the post-COVID-19 era, one question looms large: how should we measure success? This paper offers an overview of the changing work landscape and discuss why the metrics we used to assess workplace performance yesterday will not work today — or tomorrow. Instead, the paper offers advice on how to devise workplace performance metrics that better align with business goals and employee engagement. In doing so it considers why we should lean into the current disruption of workplace metrics to reconsider long held standards of measurement for workplace efficiency, compares effectiveness between traditional and new measures focused on effectiveness and efficiency of hybrid workplaces and defines how new metrics offer opportunities to activate any organisation’s single biggest investment — its talent.
    Keywords: workplace, metrics, effectiveness, measures, benchmarks, hybrid

  • Designing for an adaptable future
    Maren Reepmeyer, Director of Adaptive Design, CBT Architects

    In a world that has been turned on its head, how do architects and designers — those that shape our environments and influence our spatial experiences — respond and adapt in meaningful ways? This paper explores five fundamental perspectives to adopt, which when combined, create a solid framework that can shape a more adaptable future for a commercial property. Does your space function, perform and promote? Can you infuse flexibility into your property that will allow it to transcend market cycles? This paper presents an approach to methodically, yet innovatively, create environments that respond to changing benchmarks, while proposing a series of relatable, real-world project examples.
    Keywords: architecture, placemaking, commercial real estate, adaptive reuse, repositioning, design fundamentals, resiliency, sustainability, future-forward, flexibility, workplace, city planning, post-pandemic, perpetual pandemic

  • The power of presence: Re-establishing collaboration and innovation amidst a virtual revolution
    Meghan Tooman, Vice President of Operations, DORIS

    Two research studies were conducted to identify the implications of working remotely, in a physical office and hybrid on five business drivers, namely: productivity, collaboration, strategy, creativity and innovation. These five factors were repeatedly discussed in articles as being affected greatly (some positively, some negatively) by working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Engaging over 150 people from 29 different organisations, DORIS (Design Oriented Research for Impactful Solutions) found the aforementioned business drivers are, in fact, a system where each affects the other, and that no one factor functions independently of the others. What does this mean for hybrid working? Well, the simple fact is that it is harder than it sounds, and a hybrid work model built without intentionality toward people is one that is bound to fail due to widespread lack of efficiency and individual burnout. It is widely understood that many organisations intend to implement a hybrid approach moving forward. The key to successful implementation will be intentionality and communication behind decisions, which will increase certainty and confidence for everyone in an uncertain time.
    Keywords: hybrid workplace, workplace strategy, productivity, psychological safety, future, collaboration, innovation

  • Developing the return on workplace investment (ROWI) tool
    Nigel Oseland, Director, Workplace Unlimited, Matthew Tucker, Professor and Hannah Wilson, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores University

    Facilities managers and the wider corporate real estate (CRE) community have increasingly become focused on cost reduction, with organisations typically viewing property as a cost burden rather than an investment. Consequently, it remains rare for organisations to include performance benefits in financial investment appraisals of workplace projects. A change in narrative is required to one where value can be demonstrated rather than simply costs reduced. Previous attempts have been made to quantify workplace performance, but a tangible tool to assist in recommending major decisions regarding changes to the workplace has eluded discovery. Therefore, the authors joined forces with the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) to create the Return on Workplace Investment (ROWI) tool. The ROWI tool is a ready reckoner for calculating the impact of workplace projects (including planning, design or operation) on people performance. It can be used as part of a cost-benefit analysis to help professionals build a business case which accounts for positive factors other than cost alone. The initial step to developing the ROWI tool was to conduct an extensive literature review to determine the performance metrics that could be used to calculate a return on workplace investment. Some 105 unique and robust literature sources, with a total of 194 individual assessments of performance, were selected. Five dominant and recurring performance metrics were identified, along with nine recurring broad workplace design elements affecting task performance. Previously, there was little confidence in productivity research due to the range in performance data that various studies produce. A unique aspect of the ROWI tool, however, is that the performance data for each study was weighted to make it more relevant to real office work. The corresponding, more realistic, potential impact of workplace design on each of the performance metrics was calculated using the weighted results from all the research studies.
    Keywords: productivity, performance, office, workplace

Volume 12 Number 1

  • Editorial:
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Practice papers
    Unlocking the next wave of value in corporate real estate
    Harry Morphakis, Senior Manager and Michael Przytula, Managing Director and Global Lead, Accenture

    As real estate providers seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their tenants’ businesses — and, by association, their own — a serious question has to be asked: to drive the next wave of value, will the new normal require a change in the landlord–tenant relationship? This paper argues that the answer is yes. It requires a change from the legacy real estate mindset of cost control and reducing expenditure per square foot, to one of increasing value per square foot. Landlords can make use of a number of critical technologies to pave the way to this next wave of value creation across their portfolios: the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and digital tenant services. This paper explores the use of these technologies, their benefits, what is required to precipitate a change in the relationship with tenants and how this will shape future operating models.
    Keywords: IoT, 5G, smart buildings, digital tenant

  • Modern lease monetisations: How to capitalise on market arbitrages to significantly reduce occupancy costs
    Bob Mohr, Founder and Chairman, Rodrigo Godoi, Managing Director, Mohr Capital and Elizabeth Loving, Senior Adviser, Mohr Partners

    This paper introduces the concept of lease monetisation and details this lucrative strategy, which allows occupiers to generate a significant cash incentive from restructuring their lease to reduce their occupancy costs even further, while securing long-term control of an asset without an ownership interest or investing their capital. This paper explains the lease monetisation process, including the way corporate occupiers can decrease occupancy costs through long-term leases by taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities in the capital markets, the types of properties suitable for lease monetisations and the importance of corporate credit.
    Keywords: lease monetisation, mission-critical facilities, cap rates, investment partner, value arbitrage, profit participation, cash incentives, lease restructure, investment-grade credit

  • How technology is advancing capital planning
    Derek Blackmore, President, AkitaBox

    This paper examines the shortcomings of current capital planning methods, most notably the facilities condition assessment (FCA). The FCA as we know it today does not provide the data and other deliverables needed for effective capital planning; however, new technologies are changing that. This paper describes key ways technology is already and will continue to accentuate the FCA and capital planning processes.
    Keywords: capital planning, facilities condition assessment, digital twin, capital planning platform, CMMS

  • Aligning experience data to return-to-office investments
    Despina Katsikakis, Global Lead Total Workplace and Bryan Berthold, Global Lead Workplace Experience, Cushman & Wakefield, and Kent Taylor, Global Director — Workplace, Technology, Design and Integrated Solutions, IBM

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of work was centred around business results driven by productivity and innovation. Today, after more than two years of navigating a new workplace ecosystem of office, remote and third places, we are learning that the future of work is all those things — but at the very centre are the people who have developed new ideas about what work means to them and what they want from their employers. While they want to be productive and innovative, they also want more flexibility, to be inspired, to have better work-life balance and wellbeing and have closer connections to colleagues and the culture. If given the chance to experience the workplace with a deep culture that fosters human connection and provides the inspiration they crave, they will deliver real results. It is an opportunity for corporate real estate (CRE) leaders to rise and partner with every discipline across their organisations, to integrate people, place and technology offerings that align on improving the employee experience. Aligning capital and operational investments requires replacing conjecture and subjectivity with employee data and insight; to lean in, listen to employees and determine what their workforce and workplace needs are to stay engaged and inspired.
    Keywords: employee engagement, workplace experience, return-to-office strategies, workplace design, flexibility, work-life balance, well-being

  • The return on investment of tenant engagement
    Phyllis Horner, CEO and Manfred Zapka, COO, Great Places and Spaces

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for corporate real estate (CRE) to rethink some long-held assumptions on how to avert higher vacancy rates and create value by investing in more attractive spaces. The key to good CRE performance is the ability to attract high-quality tenants, charge premium lease rent fees and avoid lease revisions or cancellations. Since the pandemic, the rules of lease retention have faced significant challenges. In an unexpected turnabout, the lessee is much more powerful in the transaction than in the past. The era where building owners, leasing agents and property managers could view leasing of spaces to corporate tenants as a commodity is over. The occupant’s experience is more central to the attractiveness of CRE in this era. Upgrading the mindset and tools for how to optimise the occupant experience requires different approaches for corporate tenants than historically. What tenants expect of the property manager, leasing agent and building owner have all increased significantly. This paper explores the foundations of these raised expectations, why they are unlikely to revert to pre-2020 levels, and provides models and tools to use in rapid improvement of results.
    Keywords: healthy buildings, safety, better workplaces, employee retention, ROI

  • Leveraging technology for strategic workplace decisions
    Simon Davis, CEO and Founder and Corinne Murray, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist, Purposeful Intent

    The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of our global understanding of people, space and technology. This paper explores the impacts this will have on employees, employers and real estate. Employees will be given more options and choice of how, when and where they work. Employers will be faced with new challenges in the retention and attraction of talent and how to balance real estate needs versus cost (and start considering new metrics of success), and real estate will change in ways never before contemplated. As organisations navigate the journey to whatever is next, technology and data will be key elements in decision making and tracking what is working (and what is not). This will also require new skill sets in interpreting the information and a new focus on the effectiveness of the work environment, whether that is in the office, from home or at a third place.
    Keywords: flexibility, future of workplace, workplace data, employee experience

  • Places to belong: Practical considerations for creating inclusive and impactful places of work
    Ryan Anderson, Vice President of Global Research and Insights, Jolene De Jong, Application Design Specialist and Joseph White, Director of Design Strategy, MillerKnoll

    This paper is designed to help corporate real estate (CRE) leaders create spaces that improve employee experiences and the impact of their workplace on organisational outcomes. With heightened interest in the role of post-pandemic corporate offices, home workspaces, flex spaces and other environments for supporting and connecting employees, now is an opportune time for CRE leaders to elevate the role of their workplace strategy by focusing on belonging. The paper draws upon years of research and exploration conducted by MillerKnoll brands and our customers. If desired, the foundational elements listed within it can be directly imported into an organisation’s existing workplace strategy while using this paper as a guide and catalyst to help team members, consultants and end users better understand the impact of the workplace in strengthening community, promoting a positive culture, and ensuring equitable opportunities for all employees to succeed.
    Keywords: diversity, equity, belonging, inclusive design, hybrid work, workplace strategy

  • Communities of work: Creating place in the workplace
    T. Patrick Donnelly, Partner and Client Leader, BHDP, et al.

    As we have all observed, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our relationship to work and where work happens for the foreseeable future. With this understanding comes the need to reevaluate how we use the workplace and what the workplace means to the people using it. While people have found they do not need the workplace to necessarily do all of their work, they have come to acknowledge that they do miss people and the social interaction and collaboration enabled through physical closeness in a shared place — their community of work. In rethinking the workplace, other design-related fields and areas of scholarship can provide important insights regarding the intersection of people and place in communities, organisations and companies. For instance, it is possible to look to the fields of both urban planning and urban design for insights as to how to structure and sustain communities while creating experiences that support connections, reflect culture and bring people together through shared meaning. Tied to these fields is the practice of community design, which looks to use physical design to truly support and celebrate the sociocultural aspects of communities. Lastly, the theory of place provides an understanding of why the difference between generic space and a community-reflective place is critical to the success of communities. Together, these three lines of thought have helped inform a burgeoning theory of communities of work. Fifth Third Bank’s transformation of its mid-20th-century campus in the heart of downtown Cincinnati serves as an early, real-life example of this theory in action.
    Keywords: workplace, community, neighbourhood, culture, identity, place, design