The CRE sector is still in the early stages of a transformational period led by digitization, technology advances, globalization, and an increasingly mobile workforce. The flexible office industry has emerged as a disruptor to the CRE sector and has had a significant role in raising the expectations of corporate occupiers. These new consumer expectations have brought tenant engagement, hospitality, ‘amenitization’, and digital leasing strategies to the forefront of the office sector.
At the end of last year, one of the most commonly known names in the co-working operator space, We Work, admitted that it was, in fact, a real estate company, not the technology company that had engendered VC interest. Still, there is little denial that its utilization of technology and innovative service offering paved the way for flexible office to even exist.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has emerged as a global health crisis in the first quarter of 2020 has forced many organizations around the globe to go outside of their comfort zones and engage in a work from home strategy to support social distancing measures recommended by local and national health organizations and governments. Without adequate technologic advancements, productivity, communication, and collaboration would be almost impossible in this period.
When we see the other side of the current challenges, we anticipate a significant increase in employees and employers who realize that a remote working environment can be productive. A new wave of employees demanding flexibility could lead to a significant shift in corporate occupier’s portfolio management strategies.