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The building as a social network

By Jeff Frick

Hybrid is going to be different for every company, function, and individual: Get to know your people

What happened when the world of ‘agile, flexible, and dynamic’ crashes into what my Wharton Real Estate Professor used to describe as  ‘big, lumpy, assets’? Best in class Real Estate, Facilities, and Workplace Professionals are on board, and early results are out, including the recent opening of LinkedIn’s Office One, where 50% of the workstations were removed, and replaced with over 75 different seating configuration options throughout the building.

Who better to ask than Julie Whelan, Global Head of Occupier Thought Leadership for CBRE? Julie has been leading a longitudinal study with occupiers since 2015 and shared some of the latest results on Work 20XX, a show focused on work and the future of work. In this episode, Julie shared some of the latest data from the Spring 2022 US Office Occupier Sentiment Survey. 

Individual workstation occupancy has been in decline long before 2020. Ironically, Julie and the team published Global Outlook, “The Age of Responsive Real Estate’ in March 2020, foreshadowing a more flexible, activity-based real estate portfolio. And as we’ve repeatedly seen, Covid accelerated said transformation, compression 10 years into two. 

‘Activity based’ is the way to think about usage, which drives employee experience and productivity, which drives retention and innovation. No one wants to be considered overhead or SG&A. How can Real Estate and Facilities professionals use their expertise and resources to help make everyone more productive?  

Real Estate also represents a huge lever in achieving corporate sustainability objectives, which are important for everyone from the boardroom to line people. 

These are still early days. Listen, watch the data, and be ready to adjust. 

Without further delay, enjoy this conversation with Julie Whelan 

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