Does Placemaking Hold The Key To The Future Of Offices?


After hosting a presentation discussing the future of office space and the importance of authentic placemaking, CBRE posed the question - how do companies create a workplace where employees want to be?The ability to work flexibly has become one of the key motivators for employees, according to the key outtake from CBRE’s presentation ‘How to Create a Workplace that Connects Your People and Anchors Your Brand’.

Panel moderator and CBRE Director of Workplace Strategies Nicole Fitzgerald said that flexible working and mobility was predicted to be the biggest disruptor for how businesses operate leading up to 2020.

“Flexibility is resonating with staff and this is impacting how and where people choose to work. We need our talent to choose our office because they know they will perform better, form better relationships and can influence decisions,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

CBRE APAC Project Management team member Rhian Windridge said that what companies are doing in their workplace has become part of their corporate identity and vital to attracting and retaining top industry talent.

“When a group of executives were surveyed, the top source of competitive advantage was attraction and retention of top talent, and what we have found is that retention is higher in areas with strong placemaking elements,” Ms Windridge said.

“As a result, we have seen a major shift towards companies utilising brand storytelling through place, as it allows staff to relate and connect meaningfully with their workplace.

"Placemaking elements have the ability to express to people what the brand’s identity means and allows staff to experience what the company is achieving.

“Connecting staff through food and hospitality facilities, creative and collaborative areas, embedding wellness into the company’s culture using space and incorporating green space are all strategies that enable staff to respond positively to their workplace," Ms Windridge said.

The presentation also discussed the future of offices and whether it is a long-term investment for businesses.

Panel members argued that while offices are evolving and incorporating a diversity of space, less work stations and more casual workplaces - offices will always be a connection point.

“Offices facilitate the coming together of different businesses lines to be inspired and re-energised. People do their best work when they come together – so there will always be a need,” Ms Windridge said.

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