Cresa's 3-Step Process for Post-COVID Real Estate Strategy
When the healthcare crisis first forced shelter in place and stay at home orders in March of last year, no one could have possibly known that was the start of an entirely new era of how and where companies work. As the pandemic continues to drag on, forward-looking organizations are starting to look over the horizon, post-COVID, and shifting their focus to integrating what they have learned about remote work into a balanced and sustainable workforce strategy. And they are doing this before designing their office space and creating a real estate strategy.
Cresa believes effective Workplace Strategy and Real Estate Strategy must begin with the human component of a well-planned Workforce Strategy. This means having the best people doing the right work at the right time and at the right place. And they do this with the goal of optimizing productivity, recruiting the best and the brightest and maximizing financial results.
So how does Workforce Strategy apply to Real Estate Strategy in today’s environment? It precedes it. We see it as a sequential three-step process.
Step 1: Workforce Strategy
Creating a plan that attracts, enables and ignites your workforce irrespective of their location
Step 2: Workplace Strategy & Design
Re-imagining the workplace of the future
Step 3: Real Estate Strategy
Integrating workplace strategy with location decisions and lease negotiations
When Workforce Strategy is addressed first, it gives you freedom to design your office space with the confidence that you are basing the Real Estate Strategy on meaningful information, but also that your Real Estate Strategy will not have to adapt to a changing Workforce Strategy sometime down the road.
Some organizations are either putting off a discussion about post-COVID Workforce Strategy or they are skipping the discussion entirely and going straight to Step #2. But at some point, COVID restrictions are going to lift and we will all have unrestricted choice about where our employees work. Leaders are going to be faced with challenging decisions about who works in the office and how often. Cresa wants them to have the right information about their workforce so they understand all the ramifications of their workforce decisions which drive their real estate decisions. That is especially important when those decisions are binding commitments of 5 or even 10 years.