Corporates navigate uncertainty

Global Real Estate Perspective, August 2021

Levels of uncertainty remain extremely high for employers and employees alike. With further waves of cases underway or anticipated in some markets in H2, concerns have grown around an announced return to the office in September 2021. Given the need to stabilize the situation and find the right balance between returning to a physical environment and minimizing risks, the majority of companies have no clear policies in place around return to the office. In April 2021, 58% of organizations surveyed by JLL had not yet developed a post-COVID future of work program, with return to the office planned for H2 2021 or beyond (JLL Account Pulse Survey). There is a fragmented landscape as organizations move at different speeds.

Shaping the Future of Work

Most organizations (66%) have started but not completed their portfolio optimization plans. Many anticipate a less dense workplace in the future due to social distancing and increased amenity and collaboration space.

JLL believes there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the future of the office will look like, but we do believe there are four universal truths:

  • The office will remain the center of the work ecosystem.
  • The material impact on space usage and footprints will be relatively minor.
  • Health, wellness and safety are – and will continue to be – of high importance to employees.
  •  Hybrid work has a durable presence.

Offices will be more important now than ever before as the center of the work ecosystem, and outstanding office environments will continue to be a critical way to engage employees.­ ­A key factor in every corporate transformation will be keeping employee demands ‘front of mind’ to achieve change.