Enabling a remote workforce is the most significant factor shaping real estate strategies for 2021, closely followed by social distancing and infection control and energy cost-cutting, according to a recent study by research firm Verdantix.
The company has released its annual global survey of 250 real estate occupiers across 13 geographies and 18 industries on their firms’ real estate strategic direction, governance, budgets and priorities in relation to technology decisions. The survey revealed that attracting and retaining talent was the top priority for 37% of respondents, followed by building resiliency (23%), cost reduction (22%), and building occupant health and wellbeing (18%).
“Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has caused vast disruption to business operations globally this year,” said Verdantix industry analyst, Dayann Charles Jeyamohan. “This has prompted many firms to prioritize talent retention and occupant wellbeing programs within their business strategies to ensure a motivated and healthy workforce during the crisis.”
According to the study, 26% of real estate executives responded that COVID-19 has caused them to make new targeted digital investments, with a further 21% highlighting that it has caused them to accelerate their digitization of real estate and facilities processes.
Verdantix noted that workplace management software will see the biggest increase in total spend over the next year as real estate firms plan to replace ageing software platforms with new generation solutions that enable the easier tracking of social distancing and space utilization.
Smart building tech vendors are set to benefit from surge of spending on smart workplace and infection control technology, including homeworking tools and energy management, the firm said.
“In the near term, we find that firms are planning targeted new investments in remote collaboration, employee and environment health monitoring technology, and IoT-enabled space monitoring,” Jeyamohan said. “Over the next two years, digital twin simulations and edge computing will continue to garner interest among executives.”