Guest post by Tom Stanford, Founder & CEO, Nuvolo

The workplace as we know it is experiencing significant change.

Each day, it’s becoming more apparent that the rise of remote and hybrid work is here to stay. In fact, a recent McKinsey survey revealed that more than 7 in 10 knowledge workers “love” working from home.

This shifting landscape is creating new challenges for corporate real estate decision makers. Many of them are realizing that they simply can’t continue to do things the old way. If they don’t adapt, they risk falling behind and being unable to meet the evolving needs of their business.

But where exactly should they start?

I believe the best answer to this question is increasing connectivity and collaboration within their own organizations. To succeed in the new workplace, CRE executives will need to step beyond their departments to create and become part of a dynamic “ecosystem”that spans their entire business.

Let’s explore what that means in more detail.

Why Build a Workplace Ecosystem?

Many CRE leaders and their teams have traditionally found themselves operating in independent silos separate from the company’s other business functions. But in the new workplace, engaging non-traditional information sources and partners across all sectors of the business will be crucial.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Data sharing and visibility are more important than ever. With remote and hybrid schedules becoming commonplace, employees are using office space completely differently than in times past. Maybe a desk is only being used twice a week, or perhaps it’s no longer being used at all. In this environment, CRE leaders need to be on the same page with HR and facilities leaders. They need to know how often the space is being utilized, who’s using it, and when they’re using it. If every department uses their own spreadsheets to keep track of key data, well-informed decision making becomes far more difficult.
  • Lack of agility is becoming more costly. Instead of thinking month to month, CRE leaders now have to think day to day about the state of their space usage. If they don’t, they risk missing opportunities to right-size their real estate portfolios in ways that best align with business needs. The timelines for this type of decision making are becoming shorter, and the companies that are able to quickly get buy-in from leaders across the business will be in a better position to maximize their cost savings.
  • A great employee experience depends on collaboration. Can employees easily access the desks or conference rooms they need on a regular basis? Are spaces being cleaned after each use? Will people be able to find their way around when things change? Answering these questions and delivering an exceptional employee experience depends on cross-departmental collaboration. CRE leaders need to understand exactly what facilities teams, space managers, and HR are doing so they can serve as strategic partners in optimizing the new workplace for their employees.

Making It Happen

If CRE leaders can help create and maintain a company-wide ecosystem of visibility and collaboration, they will be well-positioned to drive positive results for their organizations moving forward. That’s why I encourage them to begin the process as soon as possible. This might mean exploring digital workplace management solutions that automatically sync all of your enterprise data within a single system. It might also include engaging other departmental leaders about ways to increase communication and merge your workflows. An ecosystem will take time to build, but once it’s established, it will continually deliver immense value to your business.