Corporate executives and officers are encouraged to reflect on the role their in-house real estate teams play in supporting business operations and workforce productivity during Corporate Real Estate Week, March 15-19. CoreNet Global, the global association for corporate real estate professionals, has planned a slate of virtual seminars, presentations and networking events tied to five different daily themes, and will also be releasing new studies and relevant data throughout the week.
“The pandemic has forced a reckoning with remote and distributed work that corporate real estate professionals were well prepared for, and it will be up to our profession to chart the way forward after the crisis has ended,” says Angela Cain, CoreNet Global’s chief executive officer. “Corporate Real Estate Week will be both an acknowledgement of those contributions and an opportunity to think strategically about the return to the workplace.”
More than 11,000 CoreNet Global members in 50 countries have been grappling with COVID-19-triggered upheaval in corporate organizations’ space and facilities management needs over the past year. With key responsibilities for choosing sites, ensuring safe and healthy accommodations and overseeing building and technical support infrastructure, corporate real estate professionals have experienced a surge of new demands and pressures to facilitate remote work and ensure the well-being of staff within company facilities, as well as sudden shifting priorities for office locations.
Asked to reflect on these new circumstances in a survey CoreNet Global conducted last month, 88 per cent of respondents project that offices will now primarily accommodate team or collaborative tasks, while individual work moves off-site. Accordingly, they expect workers will spend less than half the work week in a traditional office setting with the remainder spent at home or occasionally at a co-working location. Thirty-six per cent foresee a 10 to 30 per cent cut in their organization’s real estate footprint within the next two years, while 16 per cent are looking for satellite hubs located closer to workers’ homes.
For this year, 58 per cent of survey respondents projected a return to 50 per cent office occupancy some time after June. Fewer than 9 per cent reported that their organizations would require workers to be vaccinated before they returned. However, more than three quarters indicated that workers would not be travelling internationally until at least later in the summer.
More than half of respondents affirm that more credence will be given to the host locale’s crisis readiness and potential vulnerabilities when choosing a site. The same number expect a retrenchment of employees from other global centres to their home countries.