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Five major themes 'shaping global real estate space'


There are five major themes that will shape future occupational demand across global real estate markets. These are Productivity push; Next wave technologies (new business models and occupational demand); Changing corporate constitutions; Space as a service becomes the demand default and Mobility and mergers - underpin occupier activity.

Individually, each of these themes will be highly influential, but in combination, they represent nothing short of a new occupational orthodoxy, said a property expert.

Real estate is a strategic device for business and as this is more widely recognised, attitudes towards real estate costs change and focus shifts towards enhancing productivity through effective, not cheap, real estate solutions, stated leading independent property consultancy Knight Frank.

Real estate has a critical role to play in the push for increased corporate productivity. Yet, this is not about increasing the density of occupation with the ultimate aim of savings at all costs, it stated.

This approach has ultimately proven counter-productive. Instead, the aim is now to increase productivity by strengthening the interaction between people and property via the creation of, and investment in, a positive, serviced and well-supported workplace experience, said the top property consultancy in its latest report.

Next wave technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and automation will create a period of rapid organisational and process re-engineering. This will change the future form, function and location of the workplace. It will reset the quantum and qualities of staff required by a business.

It will bring about the closer interaction of humans and machines in support of greater corporate productivity. Critically, it will create new and different forms of occupational demand in global real estate markets.

The seemingly constant revision of business models derives from more frequent technological change. As organisations refocus on their core competencies or seek skills that sit outside of their traditional orbit, corporate supply chains are becoming broader and deeper, said the Knight Frank report.

At the same time, corporate diversity initiatives and the rise of multi-generational workforces serve to alter the company demographic. These trends have multiple implications for the workplace. For example, they can, strengthen the need for more flexible, collaborative workspace that improves interaction between staff.

The workplace is becoming a flexible business service that can actively support growth, rather than a fixed and often (to the occupier) financially onerous physical product. This repositioning is alluring to the occupier and will become the demand default, stated the property expert.

Traditional landlords have little choice but to adapt to this new dynamic and adopt the approach taken by the co-working ‘upstarts’. They must extend their innovation beyond the design of the physical product and towards the provision of soft-services, community and well-being, it added.

"As we enter a boom period of M&A (merger and acquisition) activity, and as the search for talent intensifies, occupier portfolios will incorporate markets and submarkets that were once terra incognita," said Knight Frank in the report.

There will be a conscious movement towards workspaces close to talent pools, but which also have the amenity, service and infrastructure to assist in the retention of that talent, it stated.

"We are in a new era of occupier mobility. It will not only bring greater complexity to the corporate real estate portfolio, it will also extend the pool of demand emerging within global real estate markets," it added.-TradeArabia News Service

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