According to Knight Frank’s second edition of its (Y)our Space report, international businesses are looking to their workplaces to revitalise corporate brand and culture after the pandemic which will see significantly improved amenities and services available for employees. The report drew on responses from almost 400 international businesses with a combined headcount in excess of 10 million, providing a unique insight into the workplace strategies and real estate needs of global companies.
Despite over a year of restricted access to offices, businesses continue to identify their workplaces as an essential component of their corporate identity and vital for retaining and re-invigorating employees post-pandemic. Nearly 90 per cent of global occupiers surveyed said that real estate is a strategic device for their business.
About 49 per cent of firms named ‘corporate brand and image’ as the top strategic priority fulfilled by their real estate, offices are also increasingly seen as a tool for improving employee well-being, collaboration, and talent attraction and retention with each of these categories referenced by 37 per cent of firms. Among Indian occupiers, ‘corporate brand and image’ remained a prime strategic objective that is best supported by a real estate asset.
Though ‘talent attraction and retention’ found a close second to the corporate brand and image, what is peculiar is the citation of ‘operational transformation and restructuring’ as the third most preferred strategic category. This can be best described as a result of changing needs of business operability influenced by the ongoing pandemic, said Knight Frank report. Some other highlights of the report are:
- Around 67 per cent of Indian respondents opined that Covid-19 will influence the medium term (next three years) direction of the real estate strategy.
- Though three-fourth of Indian respondents cited that real estate cost reduction targets have increased since the onset of the pandemic, 71 per cent of the Indian respondents expect to see an increase in their real estate portfolio in the next three years.
- Globally, 77 per cent of survey respondents who have a publicly stated net zero carbon target have a target date set before 2030.
- 50 per cent of the Indian respondents stated net zero carbon emissions target with majority of them citing the year 2030 as the targeted year.
Besides, more rigorous cleaning regimes in the building, use of contactless entry systems and temperature scanning of building occupants were described as the top three expectations from a landlord to make the workplace safer going forward.