75% Of Business Leaders Lack Data Needed For Crucial CRE Decisions

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Emma Ascott
Emma Ascott
Emma Ascott is a contributing writer for Allwork.Space based in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Walter Cronkite at Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication in 2021. Emma has written about a multitude of topics, such as the future of work, politics, social justice, money, tech, government meetings, breaking news and healthcare.

Three out of four business leaders say they lack utilization and space data to make informed decisions about their commercial real estate/workplace needs, but this is exactly the data that they need in order to retain employees.

This article was originally published by Allwork.Space.

According to FM:Systems’ recent study, three out of four business leaders say they lack utilization and space data to make informed decisions about their commercial real estate (CRE)/workplace needs. 

While many organizations have reopened their offices, they’re still having to face the hard realities that the new world of work means constantly navigating changing work patterns, as well as shifting employee attitudes and expectations in a tight labor market and potential economic downturn. 

Despite the overwhelming majority (80%) of business leaders having faith that hybrid work will remain the norm for the next 1-3 years, a hefty 61% of them would rather see their employees back in the office full-time.  

On the other hand, nearly 36% of surveyed business leaders agree that hybrid work allows for reduced real estate costs and subsequent savings. 

According to a survey by FM:Systems, accurate utilization (44%) and space (32%) data are deemed the most necessary to make informed real estate and workplace decisions in the next 1-3 years. 

Organizations with more than 8 million square feet of office space reported that cost (37%) was their most restricted data source, closely followed by space (34%). 

In a Q&A with Allwork.Space, VP of Human Resources at FM:Systems Deb Hill explained the need for operators/organizations to use workplace data tracking technology. She also said that employers will struggle if they don’t choose commercial real estate that caters to the desires of employees.  

Allwork.Space: What is the role of visitors in office/tech design?

Deb Hill: In the hybrid workplace, visitors are on near equal footing to the role of employees in office and technology design. In fact, visitors are oftentimes employees — employees who live outside of the geographic footprint of the workplace, but may visit anywhere from once a year, to once a quarter, to a full week every month.  

Anyone coming into the hybrid workplace, whether it’s an employee who lives in the local area and works once a week in that office location, or it’s a vendor coming in to meet with a group of employees gathered from a variety of geographic locations, the office design of the future needs to take into account all of the various reasons both visitors and employees will gather in a workspace. 

Allwork.Space: What are the top challenges/opportunities for the next few years for CRE?

Deb Hill: From my perspective as a leader of HR, I think the biggest opportunity is the re-imagining of the workplace. Employees are not interested in returning to the same way of working that was popular pre-pandemic. They don’t mind coming into an office to work, but they want there to be a purpose behind it. They want to accomplish things like in-person team building and collaboration, but don’t want to be on Teams calls all day long. Why do that in an office when they can do that from home?  

Additionally, they want the space to have great lighting, have a variety of different spaces for different styles of work, and be close to amenities. I believe the companies that get this balance right (the combined flexibility which hybrid working offers) will win the continued war for talent in the coming years.  

As our recent report revealed, facilities and corporate real estate professionals are not making decisions based only on space and occupancy data any more. They’re now taking into account employee preferences; how workplaces can best support employees’ (and visitors’) health and well-being, and the in-office experiences they want within these spaces to work best. 

Corporate real estate has an opportunity to really seize onto this shift, and work with their customers to enable high-performance facilities in this new world of work. 

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