Nearly two-thirds of  corporate occupiers (62 percent) 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. 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.

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.

Other findings of the report include:

  • 45 percent of businesses expect to have significant use of flexible offices by 2021
  • Nearly half of companies (47 percent) will be looking to hire data scientists
  • 92 percent of companies have a preference for wellness capable buildings

These changes are a direct consequence of a new approach to real estate that focuses on the wider business issues we talk about all the time on this blog and with our customers. They acknowledge that there is a link between the workplace and the success of an organisation and its people. This manifests itself in the greater adoption of flexible working and activity based working and the use of design idioms from other domains such as homes and hotels in the workplace. They also reflect the growing interest in the issue of wellness alongside the more well established focus on productivity. These can only be welcome changes and they are evident in the conversations we now have with customers on a day to day basis.

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