You’ve probably heard the term “secondment” as it relates to corporate real estate. But what does it mean?

Here’s the definition (from the London-based Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), as shared by Emily Gray, Cushman & Wakefield, and Caroline Court, Ericsson, in their related education session at the CoreNet Global Summit Shanghai:

Secondment is a temporary movement or loanof an employee to another part of an organization, or to a separate organization.

Secondments are often used in the corporate real estate profession. “It’s about the value proposition of someone going to another organization for knowledge transfer,” Emily explained. “It’s a great opportunity to develop your partnership with end-user clients. It has tremendous value to all three participants” (e.g., client, service provider, and secondee).


“From the end-user perspective, secondment provides a flexible resource and access to a wider service provider organization,” Caroline said. “From the service provider perspective, it’s an opportunity to develop real insight and demonstrable partnership.”

Secondments, though, can fail. Setting up the secondment correctly from the start is an investment for everyone involved that will pay dividends. And it’s important to have key milestones along the way.