Hybrid working strategies will trigger new investments across space and workplace software, says Verdantix survey

Hybrid working

Independent research firm Verdantix has released its annual global survey of 285 senior corporate real estate & facilities management executives in the position to influence corporate real estate and facilities management decisions at their respective firms. The survey respondents – Heads of Real Estate, Directors of Facilities Management, Vice Presidents of Real Estate and Senior Managers of Facilities Management – reveal that firms are planning new technology investments across employee workplace experience, asset management and cloud-based security solutions.

“Today, real estate and facilities executives are managing a rapidly changing agenda, from ensuring buildings are well maintained to developing new workplace strategies for the hybrid working era,” says Verdantix Industry Analyst, Joy Trinquet. “Our smart building technology global survey provides a unique insight into the most important objectives of 285 senior corporate real estate and facilities management executives for the next three years.”

Key findings of the Verdantix ‘Global Corporate Survey 2021: Smart Building Technology Budgets, Priorities & Preferences’ report:

For the first time in three years, executives are making cost reduction their number one priority in real estate management (30 per cent of respondents), followed by enhancing staff health and wellbeing (25 per cent), decarbonising buildings (22 per cent), improving building resiliency (22 per cent), and attracting and retaining talent (9 per cent).

High priority initiatives include increasing the amount of agile working (58 per cent or respondents), getting more value out of facilities contractors (48 per cent), increasing use of mobile applications (47 per cent), enhancing cyber security risk management (47 per cent), and revising business continuity plans (47 per cent).

ESG demands are triggering new investments in reporting and green building certifications, with 47 per cent of respondents making new investments in reporting building-related ESG data to investors and stakeholders.

Reflecting the growing adoption of hybrid working strategies, 27 per cent of respondents reported that they are accelerating real estate portfolio downsizing activities, and a further 28 per cent reported that they are evaluating space reduction opportunities as a result of Covid-19.

Firms plan to leverage artificial intelligence (48 per cent of respondents), 5G private networks (33 per cent) and blockchain (31 per cent) for initiatives in the future.

“The hybrid working trend is drastically changing the way business and employees use their buildings,” says Trinquet. “Our survey data shows 2022 will see a significant growth in investments on technology for employee experience, space chargebacks and access control & security management. At the same time, cost-cutting pressures will force 67 per cent of firms to keep budgets flat for key platforms such as CAFM and CMMS.”

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