The Future of Commercial Real Estate: Adapting to the New Work Style

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and live, and commercial real estate is no exception. The first CREW x IIDA SoCal mixer, held last Thursday, brought together industry leaders to discuss the past, present, and future of commercial real estate in Los Angeles. The engaging panel included Rob Jernigan from Clayco, Stuart Miller from South Bay Social District, Brooke Silver from Eastdil Secured, and Doug Sitzes from Haworth. Take a look at photos of the event here.

One of the most significant changes to the commercial real estate landscape is the shift away from traditional office spaces. As the panelists noted, the word “office” is becoming obsolete. With remote work becoming more commonplace, people no longer need to commute to a centralized workspace. They can work from home or any location with an internet connection. This shift has highlighted the unnecessary friction of traffic, parking, and reserving your desk in an office space.

However, collaboration spaces are in demand more than ever before. With remote work, many employees feel isolated and crave social interaction. As a result, companies are reconfiguring their occupied spaces to include more collaborative areas. Designers and architects are being tasked with reimagining spaces for adaptive reuse. The future of commercial real estate lies in creating flexible and adaptive workspaces that meet the needs of today’s workforce.

While there are many reasons for a workplace to adapt to the “new” style of work, there are just as many reasons for management to adapt alongside. As the panelists agreed, there must be trust within the organization, from the top down and from the bottom up. Managers must trust their employees to work remotely, and employees must trust their managers to support their needs in a hybrid work environment.

The future of commercial real estate is not all doom and gloom, but we must be willing to accept a long overdue change to the way humans work. The pandemic has accelerated the shift away from traditional office spaces, and the industry must adapt to survive. This includes creating flexible and adaptive workspaces, reimagining spaces for adaptive reuse, and building trust within organizations.

As we look to the future of commercial real estate, we must remember that change is constant. The industry must remain adaptable and willing to evolve to meet the needs of today’s workforce. The panelists at the CREW x IIDA SoCal mixer provided valuable insights into the changes and challenges facing the industry. By embracing change and building trust, commercial real estate can thrive in the new work style.

Thank you to our event sponsors: Haworth, Interface and SCI Material Solutions.

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