TECHNOLOGY REDEFINING ASIA PACIFIC’S WORKPLACE AND WORKFORCE

Location Loses Importance as Workplace Experience Shaped by Technological Advancements, Mobility, and Millennials; Landlords Best Positioned as Enablers of Change

Tokyo, December 21, 2017 - Technology has emerged as the primary catalyst for a long-term commercial real estate revolution in Asia Pacific. Increasingly, corporations in the region are recognizing that the time to restructure their operations around new technology is now, and this will require innovative talent to facilitate the change. According to CBRE’s business research, advances in technology are breaking the traditional expectations on location, and placing employee experience at the center of major real estate decisions across the region.

CBRE’s WORK_IT: Technology | Workplace | Jobs survey – the inaugural report within a broader series - concludes that technology will redefine Asia Pacific’s corporate real estate order in the coming years, with landlords likely to emerge as the greatest enabler of change. Employees’ preferences are rarely included in the corporate real estate decision-making process, however, according to CBRE Research, rapid technological advancement is reversing this process and individuals are increasingly acting as workplace influencers. As a result, corporations’ decisions are being informed by connectivity and accessibility as well as talent attraction and retention.

“The transitional role of technology in commercial real estate will continue to enhance and influence the employee experience across Asia Pacific. While location will remain important, the changing order of corporate real estate will require buildings and work spaces to be far more flexible and adaptable than before,” says Steve Swerdlow, Chief Executive Officer, CBRE Asia Pacific.

Major findings of the report:

  • Location is no longer everything: Location has long served as a major determinant of where business is conducted but mobile technology provides companies with more options instead of fixed sites technology innovation and availability of human capital is changing the locational preference.

  • Technology puts people at the center of the workplace: The move towards a tech-enabled workplace is driving a stronger emphasis on improving the end-user experience. More than half of occupier respondents want a more customized workplace environment that adapts to the needs of their people.

  • Mobility is rewriting office demand: As mobile working takes hold across Asia Pacific, companies will create office environments that improve staff satisfaction and comfort. The user experience will influence real estate strategies, and technology will enable employees to customize their working location, allowing them greater flexibility in choosing, how, when and where to work. Based on CBRE Research, Corporates will increase headcounts in IT professionals and Outsource/Offshoring; whereas a net decline is expected in the back office function.

  • Landlords are the enablers of change: Occupiers are the activist in changing the workplace environment. Landlords must partner more closely with tenants when developing smart buildings, engaging with tenants at the planning stage to ascertain the features and technology they require. Incorporating technology in new buildings will be relatively straightforward, but retrofitting older properties will be more challenging.

As a result of this growing awareness, approximately 50% of occupier respondents expect to require less office space in future, primarily because of improved space utilization and a reduction in headcount.

However, while the volume of space required will decrease, CBRE Research expects to see occupiers demand higher quality space capable of encouraging greater collaboration, innovation and employee wellbeing. Landlords are comparatively more confident about the outlook for demand as the shortage of demand will come from co-working and start-up companies, with only 32% of respondents expecting to see a decline.

“Technology is enabling a more mobile workforce and requiring companies to build more agility into their headcount planning. As better space utilization, and weaker front and back office headcount growth will reduce overall demand for office space, landlords must act now to ensure they remain competitive. In time, they will emerge as the real catalyst for meaningful change,” says Dr Henry Chin, Head of Research, CBRE Asia Pacific.

CBRE’s WORK_IT: Technology | Workplace | Jobs report was based on the findings of approximately 100 face-to-face and phone interviews conducted by CBRE Research between June and August 2017. Respondents comprised 69% of occupiers and 31% of landlords to ensure a balanced view from both groups. Most respondents were senior corporate real estate staff. Also interviewed were individuals responsible for technology innovation within their organization. The report published by CBRE Japan Research is the Japan edition where local results were also incorporated.

The marquee report is part of a wider series that will continue into 2018, examining the transformational impact of technology in the workplace. The report series includes country-specific survey reports for China and India, and a collection of op-ed articles on technological impact. More details here: www.cbre.com/TWJ

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Press Release

Japan Major Report - How Technology Will Redefine Real Estate and Why Companies Must Prepare Now (December 2017)

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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 2016 revenue). The company has more than 75,000 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.co.jp

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