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Global companies to reinvent the office for life beyond pandemic

By Harriet James
Friday, May 7th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Covid-19 vaccine. Photo/Courtesy

Harriet James @harriet86jim

International businesses are looking to their workplaces to revitalise corporate brands and culture after the pandemic, which will see significantly improved amenities and services available for employees, according to the latest research from Knight Frank’s second edition. 

The report was drawn from over 400 global firms employing 10 million people who indicated that occupiers are looking to offices to boost employee well-being, collaboration, and talent attraction. 

It shows 90 per cent of global firms regard real estate as a strategic device for their business in support of wider transformation while 65 per cent of firms plan to grow or stabilise their office portfolio within three years, with 46 per cent planning to improve the workplace amenities available to staff post-pandemic.

“There is a mood of change in the air. Global firms are looking beyond the pandemic and are focused on how their workplaces can enhance corporate culture and re-engage employees in a new age of agile working.

We are seeing a re-familiarisation with the office beginning in many big cities around the world.

Firms want to give employees the best of both worlds, allowing them to work flexibly, but making their offices the best possible experience, which means delivering higher quality and more engaging workplaces,” says William Beardmore-Gray, Global Head of Occupier Services and Commercial Agency at Knight Frank.

The research also indicates that many businesses are also planning to increase their use of offices to support their growth ambitions beyond the pandemic, with 30 per cent of firms looking to increase their total office space within the next three years.

In total, 65 per cent of firms plan to grow or stabilise their current level of space.

Tech firms are set to be the biggest drivers of demand for office space, with 39 per cent of the global occupiers anticipating an increase in the size of their global footprint over the next three years.

Of those, 70 per cent are planning to increase their global footprint by more than 10 per cent of its existing size.

“The experience of the past year has focused minds on what offices deliver for firms, and what employees most value in the workplace.

Real estate is increasingly seen as a strategic tool for meeting corporate objectives,” says Dr Lee Elliott, Head of Global Occupier Research at Knight Frank.

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