Planning out the way forward for the built environment

The challenges of 2020 have moved real estate strategy into the forefront of business discussions. With workers redistributed, operations either halted or interrupted and revenues under threat, the question of how and where we conduct business is on everybody’s lips.

Of course, some of the discussions around the future of work were already well underway before the pandemic, but there is no doubt that this year has accelerated everyone’s thinking.

What seems clear is that, whatever happens next, technology infrastructure will be crucial to delivering on the shifting demands and preferences of employees and employers alike. It’s time to say goodbye to the ‘desk farm’ offices of the past and embrace new, connected spaces that encourage collaboration and inspire productivity.

The question is, how prepared are property developers and businesses to take up the opportunity that lies in front of them? Do they have the foundations in place to fully deliver on the potential of more intelligent buildings that will meet their occupants’ future needs?

Understanding uncertainty

We wanted to get inside the mindset of property developers and corporate COOs when it comes to creating spaces which tick their occupants’ rapidly evolving requirements – to see how they view the shifting landscape, their understanding of the challenges facing them, and to quantify their appetite for change.

The findings of this research are published today in our new report The Way Forward. Written for property developers, COOs and facilities professionals, the study provides insight into the changing role of the built environment and corporate real estate. It looks at the circumstances and triggers changing how businesses perceive and use their physical workspaces and what these changes will mean for the building services industry.

Perhaps the key finding of the research is that there are three distinct responses to the current situation – with some waiting to see how things pan out, some pushing ahead with instituting changes, and others, rightly or wrongly, content that they already have what they need. In other words, the only certainty for businesses at the moment is uncertainty.

The report analyses all of these perspectives and offers some clear advice on how each group can successfully seize the moment and realise the full potential of their estates. Based on our many years of experience in creating smart, connected buildings for and with our customers, the report highlights how concerns can be assuaged; progress can be accelerated and overconfidence or doubt can be challenged.

The time is now

We believe this report is essential – because the truth is that now is the time for these changes to be made. We have the technology, the expertise and, most importantly, the opportunity, to transform the workspace completely. And these changes will benefit everyone – employees, business, developers and building owners.

We recognise though, that it is up to property developers, architects, consultants, technology providers and built environment experts to pave a way forward for all of the groups our research has identified. We want to show them that with the right attitude, knowledge and partnerships, the future can be bright, flexible and start right now.

The full The Way Forward report is available to download here. You can also receive your own bespoke advice sheet by taking our self-assessment test here.

If you’d like to talk to our team about The Way Forward for your business, why not give us a call?


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