Q&A: JLL exec sees no return to pre-COVID work routines, but a 4-day work week

Professional true estate and the office are intertwined, or at the very least they have been — right up until the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the two very last yr. With businesses throughout the world re-assessing how the office of the future need to search, commercial true estate is experience a pinch.

Given that COVID-19 was officially labeled a global pandemic in March 2020, the US has get rid of 138.4 million sq. ft (MSF) of office environment room. Which is 34% much more empty places of work than the country saw for the duration of the Good Recession of 2007-2010, in accordance to Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial true estate broker.


Peter Miscovich, managing director of JLL.

Peter Miscovich, the handling director of Jones Lang LaSalle IP (JLL), a global true estate financial commitment and administration business, sees much more disruption on the horizon as the pandemic rolls on and C-suite leaders embrace the hybrid office strategy. (JLL manages much more than five billion sq. ft of company true estate belongings and its financial commitment team oversees $seventy three billion in commercial true estate belongings.)

Miscovich has the knowledge to converse with authority about how the office will evolve and what it implies for true estate. He co-authored the ebook, “The Place of work You Want Now: Shaping Areas for the Foreseeable future of Do the job,” is a previous Accenture and PWC advisory spouse, and has been concerned in office transformation considering that the early 1990s.

The adhering to are excerpts from an job interview with Miscovich, who finishes with this prediction: “I don’t assume we’ll at any time return to the behaviors of December 2019 and prior to at any time all over again.”

How are hybrid and much more flexible office trends impacting commercial true estate? “In Reduce Manhattan, considering that 2008 and The Good Recession, more than 20 million sq. ft of commercial office environment room has been converted to residential room. I have a number of purchasers who’ve transformed their office environment room to senior residing or assisted residing amenities.

“I usually work with Fortune 50 clients…and their CEOs and leadership teams. They are seriously considering about their human knowledge and human-centric office strategy.

“In actuality, there is high quality to be compensated for course A room in New York, and in Boston, and San Francisco, and London. They are all having loaded as we converse. Lots of of the course B and C areas and much more obsolete suburban campus locations or older, urban constructing stock could be wanting at obsolescence or repurposing, as we saw post the Good Recession. [Course B and C buildings are usually older stock, or all those positioned in a suburban location, with much less amenities and lessen-tech infrastructure. Prior to the pandemic, a lot of older buildings have been viewed as appealing.]

“The future will be a hybrid, with these new ways to work at scale and it will contain technologies enablement, like anything from virtual actuality, hybrid office, and co-functioning. The office landscape will proceed to evolve. The pandemic just served as an speed up to that evolution.”

hybrid workplace checklist JLL

Questions businesses have to have to take into account as they plan for office changes.

Q: How are true estate administration corporations sweetening the pot to entice businesses to lease? “I have assisted structure much more than 50 Fortune one hundred headquarters. And in the great outdated times, you’d have a headquarters constructing that was ninety% personal places of work and workspace and 10% collaborative room. We’re now wanting at company headquarters that are 80 to ninety% interactive and collaborative, and technologies-enabled room and maybe 10 to 20% particular person workspace. Personal work can be carried out at home, and persons will go into the office environment to socialize, collaborate, and to establish group.

“That craze was presently underneath way in 2015, and we have carried out a great deal of work and study into this subject at JLL. …That craze has also accelerated as a final result of the pandemic — so, exercise-dependent, human-centric structure.

Are we seriously measuring persons by hours nevertheless? That is maybe a remaining-more than relic of the Industrial Age that we’re finally going to be rid of, probably.

“I have client teams who come into the office environment from 8 a.m. to one p.m. to socialize and have conferences and then they go home from one p.m. to seven p.m. to do email and their particular person work. Those craze lines are continuing.”

Is that a bad detail for companies? Will this new actuality make it much more tough for them to entice workers? “I have labored for corporations like Accenture for 30 years, and for corporations like that it’s basically a wonderful detail because permitting for flexible ways of functioning and permitting persons to pick out the way they want to work is great for the talent, it’s great for the employee and it’s great for the enterprise. It’s also great for optimizing the true estate, and it’s great for the environment.”

Do you see office environment buildings going away completely? “We will always have to have some. The issue is: What does ‘some’ mean? I assume [it implies] a larger price office environment constructing knowledge that includes greater amenities, greater lighting, greater air excellent, greater providers, greater technologies, greater views, and greater transit. The issue to question is: Is your office environment commute worthy?”

How is a much more agile workforce impacting the time we invest functioning? “The four-working day work week is coming into enjoy here. I assume we’re going to see some pretty exciting new work behaviors as a final result of this hybrid workforce, hybrid office transformation which is taking place.”

How do you see the US, known as a country of workaholics, basically transforming into a country with a four-working day work week? “Pre-pandemic, for a lot of of my purchasers, persons have been commuting into the office environment only four times a week presently. On Friday, they’d work from home. That started out in 2005, basically. So, the issue is, can you finish all of your work tasks Tuesday by Friday or Monday by Thursday, or any mix of times. I assume the Europeans and some of the much more progressed businesses are presently functioning towards this.

Evolving use of office space JLL

How office environment room is carved up will evolve.

“For case in point, Microsoft in Japan has a popular analyze cited a lot of occasions [in article content] showing that going to a four-working day work week basically elevated productiveness in that Microsoft office environment by 40%. Unilever has also been piloting this.

“Who seriously understands if you set in a 40-hour week or a forty five-hour week or a 32-hour week? I mean, the issue need to be much more concentrated on consequence and creativity and innovation. Are we seriously measuring persons by hours nevertheless? That is maybe a leftover relic of the Industrial Age that we’re finally going to be rid of, probably. 

“From a talent standpoint, workers are wanting for adaptability.”

You stated some buildings in lessen Manhattan are staying retrofitted for housing, in some situations senior residing and elder treatment. What are some of the other ways buildings are staying refitted for use other than office environment room? “A great deal of the suburban locations now have to have much more warehouse room, so commercial buildings are staying refitted as warehouses. We have experienced office environment buildings converted to lodges. We’re seeing lodges having converted to residential. We have observed suburban campuses get retrofitted to senior assisted and impartial residing. We have observed commercial buildings converted to pretty significant-stop residential, and which is certainly been the situation in lessen Manhattan.

“So, do I have to have to come into the office environment two times a month, or two times a week? …I certainly don’t have to have to come in 5 times a week, and I don’t assume we’ll at any time return to the behaviors of December 2019 and prior to at any time all over again.”

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