Mix of core and flexible workspaces will shape real estate by 2030

Future of CRE

Thanks to the combination of a changing workforce and greater connectivity, up to 30 percent of corporate real estate portfolios will incorporate flexible workspaces by 2030, with offices more likely to be built around core hubs and comprising fewer locations. Along with this the Internet of Things and smart buildings will create new ways of managing productivity, sustainability and the user experience. These are some of the key findings of JLL’s new report series ‘Workspace, reworked: ride the wave of tech driven change; two reports exploring the impact of technology, data and digital disruption on work spaces and real estate investment strategies. The series focuses on the office sector over the next 15 years, looking at how occupiers, developers and investors will need to view real estate differently and adapt in order to enhance investment returns and create work spaces that are fit for purpose in a rapidly changing, highly-connected world.

The report also suggests how the workplace shall be viewed as a service, with advancements in the application and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR &VR) meaning intelligent machines will form part of the working life for many people, while collaborative working will be facilitated across locations in new ways.

Because by 2025, at least 80 percent of the world’s adults will own a smartphone; connectivity will become a key driver of location choices for businesses as the rise in devices, integrated in the workplace, will come with the roll out of 5G speed networks that run over Wi-Fi. A mix of core and flexible workspace strategies will become central to real estate. Outsourcing at a high level to contingent workforces will be on the rise, allowing employees to focus on value creation.

Guy Grainger, CEO, EMEA, JLL, said: “Real estate, which is typically fixed and immovable, is traditionally slow to respond to change – but technology is not. Flexibility and adaptability are more key than ever. Regardless of whether we’re talking to investors, corporate tenants or developers, people and technology are at the core of everything – it is time for the workspace to adapt to 21st century needs.”

Other key insights include the emergence of new types of ‘platinum prime’ space – scarce Grade A, top tier location space designed to suit the behemoths of the new business world; a growing cohort of super-dynamic assets catering primarily to start-ups, that are flexible, modular and built to suit fluctuating business cycles; and the emergence of a new asset class, characterised by partnerships that marry equity with expertise, bridging the gap between institutional leasing and co-working.

James Brown, head of research, EMEA, JLL, explained: “We are witnessing incredible social, cultural and organisational change. Technology is altering how and where we work and, crucially, is allowing our responses to our environment to be tracked, measured and analysed more than ever before. In our reports, we’ve identified the ways in which these changes are giving occupiers, developers and investors strong cues about how their approaches to real estate will need to change practically in the future. New opportunities will emerge and those who are able to respond to change will reap the rewards.”

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