Occupiers Seeking Tech, Flex And Wellness As Workplace Consumerisation Takes Hold

  • 45% of businesses expect to have significant use of flexible offices by 2021


  • Nearly half of companies (47%) will be looking to hire data scientists


  • 92% of companies have a preference for wellness capable buildings

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London & Dublin, 20 March 2018 – Nearly two-thirds of companies (62%) plan to increase their investment in real estate technology over the next three years, most of them in the next year, according to the 2018 EMEA Occupier Survey from CBRE, the world's leading real estate advisor.

Companies are intending to invest more heavily in new real estate technologies over the short to medium term in order to enhance the user experience and raise workforce productivity. This represents a clear move away from aiming real estate technology at purely operational goals such as energy management.

The technologies being employed include wayfinding apps, connected sensors, wearables and personal environment control systems. Room or seat reservation systems and sensors are also being increasingly adopted to support improvements in space efficiency.

Paddy Conlon, Head of Advisory Services & Transactions - Offices
Over the last few years, we have seen a seismic shift in occupier demands, placing an increased focus on user experience alongside employee engagement, productivity and wellness benefits. This trend is being experienced across Europe but also mirrored in the Irish market where a lot of millennials are employed. Tomorrow’s optimised workplace will be best enabled by people-led technology platforms that connect the features of a personalised workplace experience. The planned increase in real estate technology investments, demonstrated in the survey, will only serve to accelerate this.
Paddy Conlon, Head of Advisory Services & Transactions - Offices
Richard Holberton, Head of EMEA Occupier Research CBRE
These changes will place new demands on management of the real estate asset, entailing a shift towards better service levels and more consumerisation.  This is effectively a growing fusion of workplace and service, reflected in widespread plans to hire new skills such as data scientists and digital information officers.
Richard Holberton, Head of EMEA Occupier Research CBRE

Companies are also seeing flexible office space as a key element of their corporate portfolios. The proportion of companies making no use at all of flexible space is expected to decline from 35% to 21%, indicating a growing awareness and broadening of interest even among previous non-adopters.

Occupiers are also increasingly differentiating among the various types of flexible space available, and in general favouring co-working space. All see double-digit increases in their expected level of usage in three years’ time compared with currently. The increase is most marked for co-working space which sees a rise of over 20 percentage points to 56%, taking it above serviced/furnished space as the most popular type of flexible space.

Richard Holberton continues:

“It is increasingly likely that some larger corporations will respond to the emerging flex market dynamics by developing their own bespoke co-working environments, which mirror the design, service and “vibe” of 3rd party spaces, supported by similar technologies and concierge solutions, but delivered and operated directly to preserve the relationship between employer and employee.”

The wellness agenda has evolved into a core pillar of real estate strategy. Four out of five occupiers have, or plan to introduce, wellness programs and an even higher proportion have some degree of preference for wellness enabled/capable buildings. This is supporting a range of innovative approaches to delivering and measuring wellness, including broadening and adapting the offer and seeking to measure the impacts.

Richard Holberton continues:

“Developing a flexible wellness offer will require creative thinking, enhanced collaboration between the Corporate Real Estate, HR and IT functions and senior management, as well as a critical eye on which elements actually generate the greatest measurable benefits.

Paddy Conlon added,

“Taken together, these changes will produce a more refined occupancy planning capability among corporate occupiers. It is also likely to generate new forms of asset configuration and workspace design, and place new demands on management of the real estate asset, namely a shift towards better service levels and more consumerisation. The change is well underway for what can effectively be called the personalised workplace.”


- ENDS –

Lucy SulkinCBRE
020 7182 2134


About CBRE Group, Inc.

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2017 revenue). The company has more than 80,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

CBRE U.C., (CBRE Ireland) registered in Ireland, no. 316570. PSRA Licence No. 001528 is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company with offices in Dublin and Cork. Currently employing over 135 employees, we work with occupiers, investors and developers of office, industrial and logistic, retail, hotel and healthcare property, providing strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; tenant representation, corporate services; property and project management; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management and debt advisory; business rates and compulsory purchase and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ie.