Earlier this month, Locatee participated in WORKTECH21 Copenhagen to find out what companies are doing to create the best workplace experience, how the role of the employee is changing and why we’re seeing a shift in the CRE market. As the first live event since early 2020, the team was happy to learn from other CRE professionals in person. Below, we discuss some of the biggest takeaways from the event!
Buildings becoming cities
Buildings grew in size over the past few decades as we developed smarter technology and new ways of building. The architects of Zaha Hadid took this in stride, designing what they call Mega and Giga Floorplans. A single floor of Giga projects can house up to 10,000 residents, with overall capacities comparable to small cities.
The question is, when is it too much? Building a complex large enough to accommodate tens of thousands of people seems to be a niche need, which we usually see among Tech companies with large work forces. Other types of companies, on the other hand, are trying to make their environments more intimate. Either way, leaders should consider what will create the best workplace experience for their employees.
Attitudes towards employees have changed
There has been a significant shift in the way companies perceive their employees in recent years. Employees used to be seen simply as a paid resource, and optimization was calculated purely by minimizing cost. Companies now recognize that the workplace experience is crucial to a successful business.
Over the course of the pandemic, this attitude has been adopted at an accelerated rate. Organizations are shifting towards a hospitality approach, and are also trying to “create a voluntary demand to be in the office”. Businesses must be sensitive to the needs of their workers; in short, this may include allowing them to continue to work from home.
Focusing on the individual
These days, companies are emphasizing the workplace experience to foster a happy, healthy culture. This is done by promoting individuality. Ultimately, every individual, team, and leader works differently, and should be supported accordingly. In the past, we’ve been focused too much on one kind of person and one style of working. An effective corporate real estate strategy should target the majority of people, not just the privileged and wealthy.
You have to experiment with different layouts, work styles, and management methods in order to create something new and better. Numerous organizations are conducting surveys and creating personas in an attempt to gather sufficient data on employee experiences in the workplace. Then there is a specific solution for each persona that arises. It will be interesting to see if this method succeeds in helping create the best workplace experience.
Real estate market shift
The real estate market is going to shift away from Class B and C buildings. The demand for new, state of the part Class A buildings is on the rise, and landlords must review their portfolios. However, demolition and reconstruction can cause a great deal of environmental damage and, consequently, may cause issues regarding space sustainability. By creating new, more efficient and environmentally friendly standards like Passive House, future work and living spaces can be more sustainable and ecological.
Create the best workplace experience to meet the needs of your employees
Many companies are changing how they view offices in the future. Their main priority is to offer a positive workplace experience, based on the individual needs of their employees. The Giga structures by Zaha Hadid are a great solution for large tech companies; however, they might not be appropriate for other types of organizations, looking to create more intimate spaces. Even so, there is no doubt that new Class A buildings are in high demand, which could lead to an increase in construction that is unfriendly to the environment.