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With the vaccination program rolled-out on a global scale, the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to come closer. All of us are wondering what post-pandemic life will look like and how each country will find its way back to normality. Flexible work is here to stay – it is only the question what rationale will be applied and what implication this will have on office life and space. On top of that, our next collective challenge is just around the corner: the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, where global mobility as well as infrastructure both are major factors.
Because of the sudden changes caused by COVID-19, many companies had to quickly and pragmatically set up a remote work environment. These efforts now are leading to discussions focused on more flexible and climate neutral “work-from-anywhere” approaches. Accordingly, many see it as an opportunity to strategically reduce, expand, or reposition their portfolios of leased and owned properties. While some companies have even expanded their commercial footprint in the past year – such as tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Google, for example – the KPMG CEO Outlook survey found that 69% of global CEOs reported that they will be downsizing office space. With the general success of the mass pivot to remote working in response to the pandemic, the unknown is whether people will eventually return to the office – how, where, and when – and how much of remote working is here to stay. All of this has companies rethinking the value proposition of their leased and owned properties.
The pandemic has changed our attitude to working in offices. In the aftermath of the crisis, new work concepts will be established with a considerable effect on commercial properties. Companies should redefine their strategy with this fundamental change in mind. A “gig economy” may evolve in a place “B” environment, where specific skills may be pooled at specific working hubs. This will not be the “We work” concept, but rather knowledge-based clusters that will be partly virtual and global and partly local. Working hubs will have strong eco ambitions and reiterate the Paris goals to become carbon neutral as quickly as possible.
Get more insight: Work anywhere, together - Real Estate (Factsheet, PDF)