As a predictor of corporate real estate trends (accurately, we might add) for about the last 20 years, you might say figuratively that CoreNet Global is the heart of corporate real estate strategy and workplace trends.

Today, you can say it literally too. CoreNet Global is located in downtown Atlanta, GA the site of a fire on a major north/south highway that is one of the most heavily travelled in the southeast portion of the U.S.


“The shutdown likely sets the city up for traffic headaches for months to come after creating navigation hell on Thursday with jams that extended five miles or more and stranded motorists in the immediate area for hours.”

For many of us it was “navigation hell” before the fire this week.

So, as we sit in our cars on the way to work, we can’t help but think about the lessons that our work on the future of corporate real estate can teach us about how cities are going to be designed in the future and how companies will create corresponding workplace and site location strategies:

  • The number of mobile workers today is 1.3 billion globally; 37 percent of the total workforce, according to a survey we just completed with ISS World Services. That numbers is sure to be increasing.
  • According to a recent study conducted by Smart Growth America in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield, “hundreds of companies across the United States are moving to and investing in walkable downtown locations. As job migration shifts towards cities… American companies are building and expanding in walkable downtown neighborhoods.
  • Philip Ross, founder and CEO of, notes that with the rise of portable technology, unconscious connectivity, and the cloud, the capacity to do work is no longer tied to a building. As Ross says, “this has led people to wonder why they’re in the office.

On days like this, we can’t help but wonder why do we need to come to the office? The reason is that, as we learned from a recent white paper written for CoreNet Global by Leesman, we function better when we know that we are a part of a community, and often that means a physical community.

The lesson of the great fire is this: dual work environments are necessary. A fully connected office that provides a hub for teamwork, collaboration and community; and a plan for everyone to be able to work remotely without skipping a beat just in case they have to get something done on the night that the lights go out in Georgia.