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Purpose of Place: History and Future of the Office

David Smith • 29/10/2020

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This study is the second in a four-part series that provides a new perspective on COVID-19’s impact on the commercial real estate (CRE) industry and the future of the office. In part two, “Purpose of Place: History and Future of the office External Link,” we examine how office space will continue to add value to employees and employers after the current health situation has subsided.

Part 2 of our Series “New Perspective: From Pandemic to Performance”

The office is more than just a building – it’s a place where people come together to build connections, collaborate and innovate. The global pandemic has accelerated an evolution of the workplace and forced businesses to reconsider when and how to best use the office in the future, posing the ultimate question: what is the purpose of place?

Cushman & Wakefield partnered with top researchers from George Washington University to explore the history and what we might learn about the future in “Purpose of Place: History and Future of the Office.”

In this study:

  • We examine the historical and future role of the office.
  • We present findings related to the impact of remote work on productivity, collaboration / innovation, culture, employee experience and engagement.
  • We explore the importance of walkable urban environments.
  • We discuss the importance of workplace environments on business outcomes.

Key findings include:

  • Long-term tailwinds for the role of the office and the generation of office demand remain.
  • The post-COVID-19 future will be characterized by organizations determining the right balance of remote work to advance their organizational priorities rather than one that sees a move toward an office-free world.
  • The impact of remote work is a matter of magnitude (how often can and should employees work from home) and selection (which employees can and should work remotely most effectively).

Download the report External Link, listen to the podcast External Link and register for the webinar External Link.

What might history suggest to us about the future of office? Watch the video:

office video (image) Office video (image)
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Purpose of Place and the Workplace Ecosystems of the Future
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Authors

David C Smith (image)
David C. Smith

kevin Thorpe (image)
Kevin Thorpe

Chief Economist and Head of Global Research, Cushman & Wakefield

Learn more

Despina Total Workplace (image)
Despina Katsikakis

Global Head of Total Workplace, Cushman & Wakefield

Michael Rodriquez (image)
Michael Rodriguez, AICP

Director of Research, Smart Growth America

Christopher Leinberger (image)
Christopher Leinberger

Co-Founding Partner & Managing Director Places Platform, LLC

Former Chair, Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis George Washington University School of Business

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