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Looking Ahead: CRE Trends for 2021

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Looking Ahead: CRE Trends for 2021

Ryan Turner | January 14, 2021

 

The universally-dreaded 2020 is (finally) over. After spending the past 9 or 10 months keeping your head above water, you’re likely wondering what’s next. What will 2021 bring for those of us in the corporate real estate world? We’re glad you asked. As you turn your attention toward the future, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest trends you can expect to see in CRE this year.

CRE Teams Helping Fight the War For Talent

When you ask yourself and your team who will continue to work from home, which teams need to be in office, whether a hub-and-spoke model makes sense to your organization, and so on, you’re pointing back to a very crucial thematic question: Wherever and however our team is working, how can we attract and retain the best talent? At most organizations, this will likely be a joint effort between CRE, HR, and workplace teams.

Flex Space is On The Rise

As companies continue to investigate alternatives to the large corporate headquarters, flexible space remains a viable solution for those seeking out hub-and-spoke or hybrid workforce models. Many organizations remain in a holding pattern following a year that posed a lot of questions and left most of them unanswered. Agility is a major key for corporate real estate strategy in 2021, and flexible space fits that bill.

Digital Transformation Takes Over

Speaking of unanswered questions– long gone are the days of educated guesses and manual reporting. Digital transformation has arrived, and it’s not going anywhere. Organizations across the globe will continue to seek out ways to adopt to this new way of CRE portfolio management driven by data, analytics, and AI.

Laser Focus on Strategy

With a push for digital transformation and the automation of tactical functions in corporate real estate, there will be a growing demand for strategic roles in the field. New job titles are popping up left and right– think Occupancy Planning, Real Estate Strategy, and Head of Digital Transformation.

Emphasis on Space Efficiency

Whether you’re de-densifying, decentralizing, returning to work, or working from home, there’s a need to understand how your space is utilized with a level of granularity that we’ve never seen before. Having a baseline knowledge of how employees interact with office space is key in moving forward with workplace strategy. It can be hard to juggle occupancy, efficiency, and mobility, though (especially as privacy regulations continue to intensify). Not to mention this kind of thing can be incredibly costly.

The key here is finding a workplace analytics solution that’s WiFi-based (read: cost-effective) and GDPR-compliant.

 

Notice any patterns here? 2021 is all about adapting. When we’re stripped of the ability to plan years into the future, we have to get creative with the hand we’re dealt.

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