Tenants throughout Corporate America are investing in leading-edge workplace technologies to boost productivity, according to the Workplace of the Future survey results unveiled at a media conference during the CoreNet Global Summit on Monday, November 7 in Atlanta.
Workplace strategy experts from Cisco, CoreNet Global, Jones Lang LaSalle and Teknion discussed the impact that today's top technology trends, including urbanization and workplace mobility, will have on the business environment of the future.
"Revolutionary emerging technologies are transforming corporate real estate and changing the game for corporate occupiers," said Peter Miscovich, managing director, Corporate Solutions, Jones Lang LaSalle. "Emerging technologies are enabling new levels of workplace optimization and utilization as well as boosting productivity to levels never seen before in global organizations. Emerging technologies will help to lead knowledge workers into new frontiers of high performance collaboration and innovation."
Administered by international office furniture designer and manufacturer Teknion to leading US companies and design firms, the survey revealed that nearly 90 percent plan to increase their investment in productivity-enabling technologies such as voice-activation and sophisticated video conferencing by 2015.
"Workplace Mobility programs generate significant bottom-line occupancy savings for companies often reducing annual occupancy expense by as much as 30% per year. These occupancy savings help organizations continue their investment in new and emerging technologies as well as to attract and retain high performing Digital and Creative Talent,"said Miscovich.
When asked what the most important strategy is in attracting the new generation of knowledge workers, the top two responses were offering employees flexible workplace options (41 percent) and the most leading-edge technology (39 percent). Both of these were deemed much more critical than locating the company within a transit –oriented suburban or urban center (10 percent) and providing enhanced employee amenities on site at work (10 percent).
Move Towards Digital Gaining Ground
Though the digital revolution is still gaining momentum, companies are enthusiastically adopting many technological advancements that will become mainstream in the near future. Not surprisingly, 88 percent of companies offer their workforce smart personal devices including smart phones, PDAs and tablets. Desktop video conferencing is also gaining ground in light of a more mobile workforce, with 62 percent of companies using it.
The move towards social media platforms is also taking root with 54 percent of companies reporting they are actively using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other tools to engage their workforce, customers and other stakeholders.
Often referred to as the technology that will have the most powerful impact on business and personal computing in the next decade, cloud computing is being readily employed by 46 percent of companies surveyed. Of those companies that are not yet ‘in the Cloud,' most said they plan to transition from a traditional data center model to the cloud platform within the next five years.
"By 2020, IT computing will be almost entirely outsourced to the Cloud, and the lines between business and personal technology will be blurred," said Richard Kadzis, vice president, Strategic Communications, CoreNet Global. "Since commercial real estate is hard-wired to major drivers like consumerism and social responsibility, facilities and workplaces will become an increasingly more important critical extension of the corporate brand."
The top five reasons for going digital were that it:
- Enables business process transformation (25 percent)
- Enables greater distributed global workforce collaboration (23 percent)
- Provides work/life balance and flexibility to workforce (20 percent)
- Reduces operational costs and waste (14 percent)
- Supports environmental sustainability (10 percent)
- Reduces disparity between preferred generational work styles (8 percent)
"With game changing technologies such as Cloud, TelePresence and Collaborative technologies, knowledge workers expect ubiquitous connectivity well integrated into their device and location of choice. At Cisco our objective is to provide thriving work environments & tools that facilitate Productivity and Innovation with a focus on life balance and sustainability," said Relina Bulchandani, director, Connected Real Estate, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco.
Optimizing Space Utilization
Miscovich predicts that by 2015, the standard of square feet allocated per employee will drop from 200 to estimates ranging from 50 to 100 square feet per person dependent upon the industry sector. Workplace utilization factors will exceed 85 percent utilization versus the 35 to 50 percent levels of today.
- Do you have a program in place to increase your company's space utilization per person occupying office space per day, per week and per month? 37% yes / 63%no
To increase space utilization, companies are employing several strategies including:
- More open, collaborative workspaces with less individual offices (77 percent)
- Densification of individual workspaces within the corporate office (62 percent)
- Reduce square footage footprint through disposition (54 percent)
- More employees working remotely from home sites, satellite sites or client sites (46 percent)
- Mobile working programs that include desk-sharing, hoteling and co-working spaces (31 percent)
Workplace Flexibility Programs
Though 78 percent of companies currently have less than 10 percent of their employees working from home more than one day a week; that number is expected to grow by 2015.
"We are no longer designing environments, but rather, we are designing the experience," said Kay Sargent, vice president of Architecture, Design and Workplace Strategies at leading international office space design company Teknion. "If we come to the office to engage others, then the space needs to enable that interaction through elements such as smart buildings that automatically respond to presence and preference and adjust the environment accordingly."
Sargent cites several factors that will distinguish the future workplace including space assigned by function, not hierarchy; a focus on collaboration; a higher degree of customization; more flexibility and agility; less focused on corporate data storage and computing and more on enabling mobility and other forms of workplace flexibility.
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2010 global revenue of more than $2.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 200 corporate offices. The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.8 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company's investment management business, is one of the world's largest and most diverse in real estate with $47.9 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit our website, www.joneslanglasalle.com.
About CoreNet Global
CoreNet Global is the world's leading professional association for corporate real estate and workplace executives, service providers, and economic developers. More than 7,000 members comprise nearly half of the Forbes Global 2000. For more information, please visit www.corenetglobal.org.
About Teknion Coporation
Teknion Corporation is a leading international designer, manufacturer and marketer of office systems and related office furniture products. Teknion headquarters are located in Toronto, Ontario. The company has offices and facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Russia and Malaysia, and serves clients through a network of authorized dealers worldwide. Visit Teknion at www.teknion.com.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.