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Real Estate Needs To Be In The Community-Building Business If It Wants People Back At The Office

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Sartre might have thought that hell was someone else, but when it comes to returning workers to the office, existentialism disappears and the community enters.

Landlords and employers have tried it all to keep reluctant Americans away from the living room.But according to the panelists BisnowChicago Tenant Wellness & Lease Summit June 28, the role of real estate in helping create and build communities has not been fully considered.

Return to office slowly rose in Chicago, as evidenced by Castle Systems Barometer to get back to work, Record swipes on office building access cards. Although it has improved in the last few weeks, 41.9% of pre-pandemic office workers have returned to the field at least part of the week, below the national average of 44.2%.

Panelists said it was clear that the rise from here could not be achieved with the same deployed strategy.

“We say we are trying to meet human needs with real estate. Human needs are communities.” KORE Investments Founding partner Jack Kim said.

“Recently, people don’t have it. They don’t have a front porch. They don’t go to churches or synagogues much. They don’t have PTO meetings. People crave it because we don’t have that community. increase, [and] So if we, as landlords, can create that ability … that’s what people really want. They need that warm body interaction. ”

Over the past two years have hit office culture, but time away from proven office strategies has forced companies to rethink how to better meet the changing needs and demands of their employees. .. According to panelists, this means focusing on building a strong internal community. It also means recognizing that employee health and health are no longer a luxury but a necessity. Gallup poll We found that about 70% of American workers were not engaged in their work.

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Bisnow / Erica Scalise

Jack Kim from KORE Investments, Jessica Brown from Sterling Bay, Scott Phillips from Global Workplace Solutions, Carrie Szarzynski from Hiffman National, Howard Meyer from Zeller, and Tyler Kethcart from JLL Experience Management.

This transition from a barren office environment to a social environment is driven primarily by design. The days of dingy office cubicles, solo workspaces, and old air are gone. By providing maximum flexibility, tenants are operating and aesthetically blurring the line between hotels and offices.

Global workplace solution Senior Director Scott Phillips talked about using the space effectively, making coming to the office an event. This means expanding the gym with unused meeting rooms and optimizing the coworking space like a living room at home.

“It’s about having an outdoor space [employees] You can sit outside to work, get food … you have the flexibility to sit in different spaces. ” Hifman National Senior Vice President Carrie Zardinsky Said. “No one wants to sit at the same desk all day long. They want to go to the communal space and sit down and talk with their peers.”

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Bisnow / Erica Scalise

Arch Amenity Group Mike Flanagan, Riverside Investment and Development Company Rafael Carreira, Hines Bryan Atkinson, Cyclone Energy Group Benjamin Skeleton, 33 Realty Chet Condas.

The need for flexibility extends to health and wellness amenities. Expansion of the fitness center, massage therapy space, quiet rooms, lounge and cocktail space will help attract and retain talent, as well as services once available only to executives.

“When thinking about what people want, it’s a space where they can do PT or massage therapy or professional treatment on the spot.” Hines Managing director Bryan Atkinson Said. “It’s all about wellness, people-wide, and employee-wide integration.”

Both panels responded that this would not be possible unless a strong feedback loop and consistent conversations facilitated by data and technology took place throughout the office.

“One of the things that every employer thinks should be to survey employees. At every major milestone, survey all employees in the Chicago office.” Sterling Bay Lease director Jessica Brown Said. “I think the type of collaboration with the landlord is important, but I think the collaboration between the employer and the employee is also important. This is really necessary.”

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