by Derrick Bock, Head of Workplace Strategy, GOS Germany
The way that TMT players respond to the five forces will determine their ability to create leading workplaces, maintain competitive advantage and be successful in the future. There are four areas in which leading TMT players are using their workplace and real estate strategies to future-proof their businesses.
1.) The Changing Role of Workplaces
Recognizing that developing new products and services requires a departure from ‘business as usual’, many TMT players are creating specialist workplaces where ideas can be developed faster. Accelerator and incubator spaces are becoming a key component of real estate strategies as companies attempt to work more closely with startups and high-growth companies to fast-track product development. Leading players are also designing workplaces which encourage interactions between different employees in the hope that new ideas will emerge from ‘bump’ moments between specialists from different business units.
2.) Agile Workplaces and Flexible Real Estate
With the break-neck pace of technological change making it harder to accurately forecast workplace and real estate requirements, heads of real estate need to understand how they can increase the agility and flexibility of their portfolios. Moving from allocations of space that rely on ‘one person, one desk’ can unlock significant space savings by freeing up under-occupied space and allow growing businesses to scale without expanding their footprints. Flexible offices are also becoming a core part of property strategies in the sector as companies look to limit long-term lease liabilities and quickly ramp up their operations in new markets.
3.) Location Strategies for the Future
With cities becoming the engine of growth for TMT companies, leading firms are increasing their footprints in urban locations in both the developed and emerging world. As a wave of new TMT hubs emerges in developing markets like China, India and sub- Saharan Africa, new locations for functions like research and product development are arising in unfamiliar places. TMT firms require detailed city-by-city metrics on growth projections, demographics, talent pools, local universities, infrastructure and competitors to make location decisions. They also need to think about how they can partner with universities and city governments, and distribute work across the operations of their various locations.
4.) Workplaces and Talent
Winning the war for talent is driving decisions about where TMT players locate, what kinds of work environments they create and the range of amenities and services they build into their workplaces. In the near future, however, demand for talent will require companies in the sector to think about how they can tap talent from more diverse backgrounds and make the leadership of their organisations more representative of the generations they employ. With the supply of younger workers dwindling in most developed economies, programmes to attract and retrain older workers and increase levels of female participation are key to success.
The above is an excerpt from our newest GOS report, The Future of the TMT Workplace, which can be downloaded here.
Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Derrick was Head of Workplace Design at eBay, where he successfully led the development and implementation of the company’s Global Workplace Program to 28 sites in the EMEA region, as well as locations in the US and Australia.
With a background in Architecture, coupled with a focus on Human- Centered insights, Derrick has generated innovative ideas that have driven tangible, positive results. With this hands-on experience, he has successfully transitioned from Architect/Interior Designer to Facilities Operations and is now a Workplace leader. Human-centered design and reducing friction to the customer experience have been the focus of his work whilst curating innovative, effective, and unique experiences both in built environments and the strategic implementation of them globally.