Hybrid work models are re-shaping property portfolios

JLL Michael Greene property REITs office

15 December 2021
| By Chris Dastoor |
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Hybrid works models has changed property portfolio requirements for some industries, according to real estate and investment management firm, JLL.

The firm said COVID-19 and lockdowns had reshaped the future of work, with more people preferring a hybrid model – working partly from the office and partially from their home.

For example, call centres had realised they could use technology to improve how they did business and this had resulted in some overseas call centres being relocated back to Australia.

Michael Greene, JLL Australia head of tenant representation, said a major telco had brought all its call centres back onshore.

“Rather than have them all in one location, technology is enabling some 80% of their people working from home,” Greene said.

“As a result, this organisation’s property portfolios are changing – as they are for several other industries.”

He suggested that data was key for organisations to determine likely trends and property needs in 2022.

“How many people need to be where when, and what do those in the office need?” Greene said.

Research from the firm found employees had looked to their companies to support their ‘holistic wellbeing’ in the workplace.

“After the experience of working at home during COVID-19 where people had ready access to such facilities they are seeking to replicate them at work,” Greene said.

“It is important to take note of how to ‘earn the commute’ to get people back to the office, at least part of the time.”

Ben Tindale, JLL managing director of accounts – work dynamics Australasia, said relaxation spaces, healthy food services and outdoor spaces topped the list of what employees wanted in their offices.

“Yet, currently only 17% of people actually have access to relaxation spaces, 19% have access to healthy food services and 25% have access to outdoor spaces,” Tindale said.

“With one-third of the workforce in Australia lacking access to any health amenities today, there’s a huge opportunity for employers to address this need by implementing services that promote wellbeing.

“As staff come back to the office, more companies need to recognise the importance of health and well-being for long-term performance and provide the space and facilities.

“Landlords in many cases are stepping up to provide this in their buildings. Opportunity for lessors and lessees to partner to make the space relevant and attractive to employees.”

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