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The “new work” model

Winning in the New Work of CRE

The CloudVO team recently sponsored and attended the 2018 Global Workspace Association (GWA) and NAIOP Flex Office Conference in Austin, Texas.

There were many fantastic presentations on the changing landscape of commercial real estate in this new Workspace-As-Service world.  However, Antony Slumbers, the keynote speaker was particularly impactful.

Flex Office Conference 2018 - Antony Slumbers

Mr. Slumbers laid out his view of the very real, and very rapid changes that are occurring in this latest revolution of work. He shared that the ‘old work’ model of structured, repeated and predictable work tasks will be automated and that 49% of all tasks our workforce currently does, falls under this model and will be automated. The future of work, “new work’ will include tasks that incorporate skills of design, imagination, inspiration, creation, empathy, intuition, innovation and collaboration’.  Our workspaces need to be available to make this new work workable…that is, be places that maximize the productivity of these ‘thought’ workers.

McKinsey quote from Antony Slumbers presentation at GWA Austin 2018

As approximately 70%+ of US workers work for companies with less than 500 people, this means that the corporate mega-headquarters (think of Facebook and Google campuses) are not an option for most workers. Flexible, workspace-as-a-service space need to be ready to cater to the needs of the ‘new workers’.  In fact, Mr. Slumbers tells us that currently 60% of large companies embrace the flexible workspace, outsourced model as an option for some of their space needs.

The trends for continued growth of this model are very favorable as is seen in explosion of sharing economy business models.  People no longer embrace ownership as in the past, they just want access, on their terms. In fact, the very motivation for businesses is not to own an office but to have a productive workforce. Ownership is only required to the extent it enhances the productivity of the employees.  This means, that for those of us operating in the shared services workspace industry…our job is not real estate, it isn’t even hospitality, it is something far more important and action-oriented – it is creating the place that enhances and allows the most productivity of our clients.

The ‘new work’ force actually makes the office more important, but creating the right experience to match the new skills and the new mindset is more complicated.  The success of our businesses will be decided upon which companies best create and curate space and services and are prepared to monitor, measure and shift, nearly on demand, to meet the needs of its clients.

This is exciting stuff, folks!

View Mr. Slumbers’ Keynote slide deck from the conference.

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