Adapt workplace strategies to cater to five-generation workforce: CBRE

By Bong Xin Ying / EdgeProp Singapore | October 10, 2019 4:37 PM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Real estate occupiers will have to adapt workplace strategies over the next decade to meet the differing needs of a “five-generation workforce” of Baby-Boomers, Generation X, millennials, Generation Z and Post-Generation Z, CBRE notes in a report on Oct 9.
The flagship report, 'Real Estate 2030', was launched at the “CBRE Symposium: The Singapore Journey”, and examines how living and work spaces will transform over the next 10 years, while driven by the five major structural changes – demographics, infrastructure, occupier trends, sustainability and technology.
“While technological innovations have continuously redefined the real estate landscape, by 2030, millennials will also play a major role [in] influencing investors’ and occupiers’ real estate decisions,” says Desmond Sim, head of research, Southeast Asia, CBRE. Sim adds that the millennials “will be the driving force behind the sharing economy where co-living and co-working are expected to be prevalent”.
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Millennials, being highly adaptive, are “more willing to share facilities and services, and place more importance in seeking experiences”, which will help drive the sharing economy and influence how developers and landlords make decisions, the report notes.
In 2030, an asset-light society will emerge, with the sharing economy gaining a wider acceptance, CBRE notes. Each car-sharing session could reduce the number of vehicles on the road by an estimated four cars, freeing up to 15% to 20% of building space previously used for roads and parking.
Sim adds that “more decentralised office stock” can be expected. The portion of decentralised offices has grown from 17% in 1998 to 24% of total island-wide stock as of end-2018, and this is expected to increase to 30% by 2030, says CBRE.

New infrastructure

Satellite strategic gateways like Jurong Innovation District, Punggol Digital District, AgriFood Innovation Park, Changi Aviation Park and Tuas Mega Port will encourage commercial growth outside the city and help to support innovation in niche industries.
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In the retail space, the future could see fulfilment centres moving closer to homes in residential precincts like Marsiling, Aljunied and Ang Mo Kio, given the availability of industrial land parcels in these areas. This will increase the overall efficacy of last-mile delivery.
With the government’s 20-minute town and 45-minute city vision, the expansion of the MRT network will result in increased connectivity as well.

Occupier trends

As of this June, about two in five of all office buildings tracked by CBRE Research has a flexible office component. By 2030, at least three out of five such buildings will have this component, says CBRE.
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Co-retailing, which offers shareable spaces and community-based experiences between retailers and customers, will be on the rise. Technology will be more widely used. By 2030, stores will likely be equipped with artificial intelligence, sensors, self-checkout stations, cameras and mobile devices, the report notes.

Sustainability and technology

At least 80% of buildings (in terms of gross floor area) are expected to be certified green, according to the Building and Construction Authority. CBRE expects green leases to be more common by 2030.
Alternative spaces for food gardening, like urban farming, will eventually be integrated into real estate.
By 2030, the need for commercial spaces will be reduced with the adoption of cloud technologies, as companies no longer need space for servers nor maintenance staff on site, CBRE notes. As such, demand for data centres as cloud storage is expected to increase.
The rollout of 5G in Singapore will also help facilitate communication between teams and promote flexible or remote working.
“The Singapore government continues to demonstrate vision and creativity in its approach to urban planning. This is fundamental to supporting long-term economic growth, developing new growth areas and sectors, while helping to transform existing industries,” says Moray Armstrong, managing director of CBRE Singapore.
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