What We Learned At The 2022 CoreNet Global Summit

WDM’s Bob Fox and Elise Shapiro share a recap of what they learned at the 2022 CoreNet Global Summit in Chicago. 

CoreNet 2022 was the perfect setting for interesting conversations and idea sharing among professionals. 

CoreNet Global Summit held in Chicago was filled with conversations about commercial office space that stood for a much broader range of options than last year. With over 2,700 attendees from 31 countries present, this year was filled with great energy and ideas being exchanged. Most people recognized that the CRE world is in a transition zone, but were uncertain where it was headed over the long term. Here’s a recap of our favorite findings.

The Happiness Advantage with Shawn Achor

Bob: The conference kicked off with best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who set a record for the fastest speaking presenter at the event and pointed out that brushing our teeth was the only consistent habit that the medical community has successfully embedded in our culture that improved our health.

He presented years of research that conflicted with years of cultural upbringing that ingrained in us that happiness is achieved with success. Shawn’s research time after time proved the opposite, and that being happy was a prerequisite to success. He showed that average performers consistently outperformed others when their mental state was prioritized. In a fun, audience engaging, live experiment he proved that in just seven seconds, the audience’s mind changed to a more cheerful outlook while also spreading happiness. As a result we all walked out of that session feeling much better and ready to engage with others. If only our commercial office environments could do the same.

The keynote kickoff included bestselling author, Shawn Achor and kid motivational speaker, Coach Cal.

Great Personal Experiences Will Win the Day

Bob: With more of a focus on people and creating a healthy environment, there was a sense that we needed to better understand how the office really functioned as opposed to just getting work done. As evidenced in the Innovation Pavilion, the technology being presented is headed toward more experiential metrics.

Supporting that theme was the “Infusing Hospitality into the Workplace” session with Whitney Burns of Hines, Jennifer Lodge of Forbes Travel Guide, and Laura Schofield of Conrad Hotels, in which they showed that people responded to how they were made to feel three times more than the environment that they are in, but that the two are related. On the technology side the “Entering the Metaverse: Putting Together an Immersive Office Experience” session with Frances Dwyer from CBRE, Guy Messick from IA, and Peter Van Emburgh for CBRE, was an introduction to virtual meeting space, which proved that being familiar with the physical environment mattered. Both of these sessions clearly pointed to new directions in a focus on people and the increasing use of technology for our future work environments.

Spaceti co-founders Max Verteletskyi and Aakash Ravi promoting their case study of experiential impact in the conversion of a historic train station into a dynamic coworking center housing Warner Music.

‘Places to Belong: How workplace can help hybrid teams reconnect’ with Ryan Anderson, MillerKnoll

Elise: Ryan Anderson presented a 20-minute update on MillerKnoll research exploring the challenges in rebooting the workplace experience. Managing the evolving workstyles of those returning to the office, those continuing to work remotely and the conglomeration of all the competing elements defining exactly what the “hybrid” work experience entails. The research shows that the key elements include:

  • Understand the challenges of helping everyone stay connected and engaged.
  • Use web meetings sparingly and rely on tools that keep you connected throughout the day.
  • Make sure important conversations and decisions include remote team members.
  • Get creative with ideas for socializing digitally.
  • Regularly check in with team members and establish outcome-driven performance metrics.

Most of the conversations at CoreNet 2022 pointed to the realization that a shift was on the horizon and that the way that we think about commercial office space is about to change. It may take a few years for the dust to settle, but we’re looking forward to seeing a few exciting new things appear leading up to CoreNet Global Summit 2023 next October in Denver!

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