Advanced Workplace Strategies

Enabling today’s changing workforce

Work is now “what we do,” not “a place where we go.” Today’s workforce is virtually mobile, agile, and collaborative. Employees use space differently, but organizations frequently still provide workspaces that sit empty when the workforce is in meetings, in the field, at home, or on vacation.

Organizations are paying significant sums for individual workspaces they are not using.

An efficient advanced workplace strategy integrates the key elements of physical space design, information technology (both infrastructure and devices), and effective HR policies to better enable work and increase operational efficiency. Properly deployed, an advanced workplace strategy can be a significant driver of real estate portfolio savings and contribute to talent recruitment and retention programs.

An effective workplace strategy program can offer:

  • Efficiency and flexibility in the use of office space that is traditionally dedicated, expensive, and often unoccupied, typically leading to a 20-50 percent improvement in asset performance.
  • Mobile technology tools that enable access and collaboration on demand – anytime, anywhere.
  • Flexibility and choice for employees to be productive from a variety of work settings, including corporate sites, customer locations, at home, etc.
  • Increased opportunities for virtual and face-to-face collaboration, fostering the belief that the role of the “office” is to enable interactions that enable key business priorities such as innovation, knowledge sharing, and speed-to-market.
  • Significant cost savings associated with the real estate portfolio, through the identification of space-reduction opportunities and changing workspace standards.

COVID-19 implications for corporate real estate

There are several areas and key questions executives should be thinking about today as it relates to reentry planning, safety and operations, workspaces and materials, employee experience, and digital workplace technologies. Explore our various resources.

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An overall approach to workplace strategy

Deloitte’s approach to workplace strategy often starts with an initial assessment of current workplace strategy, mobility, and work-from-home programs, but can be tailored to different situations. While each client situation has its own balance of priorities and constraints, below are a number of typical workplace strategy activities:

  • Analyze current demand for space: review internal utilization data from real estate, HR and IT; identify trends; compare against leading practices and identify gaps/opportunities; and develop baseline financial model to support workplace strategy business case
  • Develop future workplace scenarios: define different work styles to form the basis of allocation practices; refine space allocation approach and technology allocation; project high level cost savings estimates based on portfolio level metrics
  • Develop integrated solution set to support workforce across in real estate, HR and IT; develop, governance structure; model financial impact of proposed solution set and apply to initial pilot locations; develop implementation plan and roadmap to impact the entire real estate portfolio
  • Develop change management strategy, supporting communications, training, and integration across the program team and business unit leadership

Workplace strategy in action

Deloitte helped a large financial institution implement a workplace strategy program that offered a range of solutions, including: conventional offices, shared/hybrid work space, hoteling, free address, satellite offices, and telecommuting/virtual office practices to enhance employee work/life balance and achieve a more cost-efficient use of space. As a result, the client forecasted an annual run-rate cost reduction of $400 million. Additionally, workspace utilization was improved from 1.22 seats per person to 0.86 seats per person for the targeted population of employees. As part of this effort, the team delivered a workplace strategy training to over 300 enabling function staff across the globe. The client expects to achieve additional benefits in terms of anticipated reduction in carbon foot print and an increase in overall employee satisfaction.

A large technology company had experienced the migration of many business processes to lower cost off-shore and on-shore locations. As a result, there was excess real estate capacity in the portfolio, but business units were beginning to anticipate growth. The client wanted to increase efficiency of space use to realize cost savings, effectively enable growth, and embed flexibility. Our findings and recommendations helped the client in its efforts to socialize and embrace the benefits that a workplace strategy program would bring to the organization in terms of real estate savings, employee and talent related benefits, and better enabled business activities. The project defined a program to achieve $25-30 million in recurring savings over 3-5 years.

Want more insights and perspectives on real estate and location strategy topics?

Many organizations have an opportunity to unlock more value across their corporate real estate portfolio, operating model, and location strategy. Explore additional perspectives and insights on a range of corporate real estate and related topics.


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Abby Levine

Abby Levine

Principal | Real Estate Transformation

Abby is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Real Estate and Location Strategy practice, with twenty years of experience helping clients create real estate portfolios and functions that support ... More

Darin Buelow

Darin Buelow

Global Location Strategy Leader

Darin is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leader of Global Location Strategy. In more than 20 years of experience he has guided hundreds of major corporations with the deployment of talent... More