Real estate decision makers of the future: Organizational design is changing

Real Estate Predictions 2018

A corporates’ organization design has been evolving with the faster pace of technology, a greater level of workforce agility, and the changing nature of job roles, all of which are impacting the way in which we interact with the physical workplace. The need to influence property decisions comes from various parts of a business and ultimately the decision makers are changing to include: CTO, CIO, CEO, and HR. The Real Estate Predictions series and this content was developed by Deloitte in the Netherlands.

Changes in the decision making tree

2/1 - Written by Rob Scopes and Shaun Dawson, Deloitte Netherlands

Advances in technology have been moving at such a pace that businesses have been slow to adopt and adapt. The type of work and where we do it is significantly different than a decade ago. The change in the composition of the workforce with more women in employment and a longer working life for many has led to five generations now in the workplace.

The typical organizational model adopted by businesses is coming under pressure to transform and this includes the decision-making tree, not least of all with property decisions. The world of work is entering a new era.

A new business landscape

Business agility will play a pivotal role in building the organization of the future, with networks of teams taking decisions rather than a few at the top of a hierarchy. These networks respond to business needs and teams are formed and disbanded quickly. The new model will lead to a fresh approach to leadership and should aim to promote more inclusivity, employee engagement, and working practices. Real estate is one way in which organizational change can be further facilitated.

Real estate decisions were once the preserve of the chief financial officer and property directors, with wider executive consultation reserved for bigger decisions, such as new office space and/or new locations. Whilst the ultimate decisions may continue to rest with similar people/functions, the input from the wider business and all levels of the workforce, as organizational design becomes more fluid in which to accommodate the workforce and workplace of the future, is key.

Elevating the employee voice

Despite a rise in remote working and the contingent workforce, the workplace and especially the office still retains an important function within the culture of the business. It is one element that provides employees with a shared experience. However, legacy, process, and hierarchy have driven the way in which the workplace has evolved, if at all, over the years. It is now the time in which a holistic approach towards gathering workers views on the workplace should be included.

Unhappiness in the working environment could potentially lead to wider job dissatisfaction. Organizations should use the workplace as a means in which employees can redesign their work, enabling greater productivity and learning, ensuring work is rewarding and more importantly increased integration of people and technology like never before. In order to achieve this the role of human resources (HR) and IT departments are becoming increasingly important in facilitating and orchestrating organizational design of the workforce and inevitably the workplace.

The ‘stage set’ office

As businesses move into the digital age, traditional views of real estate as being a cumbersome expenditure and space requirements being based on old principles should be challenged. The workplace should be viewed more like a ‘stage set’ in which the scenery can change depending on the needs of the business. Space that ensures greater creativity, collaboration, education, and socializing through employee interaction will bring the workplace into the 21st century.

An inflexible workplace will more than likely curtail a business, especially one that is looking to adapt. To be an agile firm is to embrace flexibility whether that is in the decision making, the workforce or indeed the physical space.

For some companies, a new organizational design will be a culture shock. However, by utilizing a common denominator such as the workplace could bring about a positive employee experience that will contribute to an increase in ownership among the workforce and in turn greater productivity.

In 2018 we expect to see the transformation of the workforce to accelerate at a greater pace than previously, forcing organizations to change existing models of leadership and decision making. As a result, the workplace will become a key facilitator of that change.

Real Estate Predictions 2018

18/01 - Wellness, work and real estate

25/01 - The rise of co-working space and the need for smart buildings

01/02 - Real Estate decision makers of the future

08/02 - Fintechs: Complementing the real estate ecosystem

15/02 - Robotic and cognitive automation part 1

22/02 - Robotic and cognitive automation part 2

01/03 - Public sector transformation

08/03 - The future of commercial real estate

15/03 - Blockchain

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