Senior Vice President,
The corporate real estate (CRE) industry plays an increasingly important role in helping businesses enhance their workplace strategy. This profession is instrumental in designing workplaces that impact employee engagement, performance and wellness. These factors not only impact business results but also affect employee Quality of Life.
To that end, Sodexo’s partnership with CoreNet Global serves as our cornerstone commitment to the CRE profession. Sodexo was a key contributor and sponsor of CoreNet’s report, “The Bigger Picture – The Future of Corporate Real Estate.” This report assesses how major trends – such as the changing global economy, generational shifts, and technological advances – impact corporate real estate.
The report identified several trends in corporate real estate that closely align with our six dimensions of Quality of Life. This means that workplace Quality of Life is becoming even more important for CRE professionals and organizations as they strive to improve employee engagement and business excellence.
Notable trends include:
1: The increasing use of technology to improve ease and efficiency.
The report shares how the rise of technologies such as virtual reality will improve ease and efficiency by helping to facilitate collaboration and interaction among colleagues in realtime across multiple geographies. As employees increasingly rely on emerging technologies to remain connected to their colleagues, employers will have less need to use a central workplace. Instead, employees can easily work from home, at satellite offices, or at their local coffee shop, while remaining fully connected with their colleagues.
2: The growing need for workplaces to be more sustainable.
The report covers the growing need for corporations to provide more sustainable workplaces. This includes offering physical environments that focus on long-term efficiency and sustainability through energy management and waste reduction practices, programs and services. This has become a key focus area for Sodexo. As part of our Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo is committed to reducing our carbon footprint in all countries where we operate and at client sites. We have found that reducing energy consumption is the “greenest” way to reduce operating expenses and meet sustainability objectives.
3: The importance of designing workplaces that foster employee health and wellbeing.
Health and wellbeing is highlighted in the report as a key focus area for corporate real estate. Research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Brigham Young University and the Center for Health Research at Healthways shows that healthy employees perform better in their jobs and have lower absenteeism rates. To that end, employers will see better performance if their workplace fosters employee wellbeing; for example, by offering access to healthy and balanced meals, providing corporate wellness programs, and optimizing the built environment to support worker health.
4: The impact Millennials will have on CRE planning.
Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2030, Millennials will make up nearly 75 percent of the workforce. This generation looks for jobs that provide them with the ability to live their chosen lifestyle and find fulfillment outside of the workplace.
Specifically, Nielsen research shows that Millennials prefer to live in “dense, diverse urban villages where social interaction is just outside their front doors.” As a result, the report conveys the importance that employers choose locations that lend themselves to social interaction for Millennials, such as in cities and other urbanized areas.
CoreNet Global’s report covers other major trends that will impact corporate real estate. Sodexo also publishes annual Workplace Trends reports that highlight a variety of business drivers affecting the workplace and the corporate real estate landscape.
What trends are you seeing impacting today’s workplace and the CRE industry? Please share in the comments section below.