ATLANTA. The “Gig” Economy Will Impact Corporate Real Estate And The Future Of Cities

ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The future of work is likely to be heavily influenced by the “gig” or “contingent” economy, one in which workers retain independence by doing work for more than one company at a time. “A contingent workplace model allows workers with a specialized set of skills to work for a number of companies, none of which might require those services on a regular basis. It also allows companies to scale up and back down quickly, based on new assignments that may or may not be long-term,” according a report from CoreNet Global, The Bigger Picture, The Future of Corporate Real Estate. Peter Miscovich, Managing Director for Corporate Solutions with JLL, sees this changing dynamic as opportunities for workers and businesses alike that will lead to a “Hollywood model of work,” whereby teams are assembled for each project in much the same way as movie casts and crews are hired. In this manner, a contingent worker might spend less time working and earn higher wages than a full-time employee in the same field, while also maintaining maximum flexibility for companies and cutting their occupancy and healthcare costs. “The larger trend that we are seeing is that knowledge workers are increasingly able to demand certain work styles and conditions from their employers, a complete reversal of the dynamic in which companies set and created their workplace culture and employees adapted,” said Tim Venable, senior vice president at CoreNet Global. “Employees now may reasonably expect flexible scheduling, the potential to work remotely, certain wellness benefits, and options for where they work.” The gig economy is both a reflection, and a driver, of the ways that cities will develop. The term “workplace” now carries a wide variety of meanings to workers, given the amount of time some spend working from home or a coffee shop. Many younger, gig economy workers prefer to be in urban areas, which means that cities will have to be “smart,” connected and offer the most up to date technology. According to JLL’s Miscovich, “digital talent demand will drive corporate location strategies. If an employee is only going to visit the corporate office within brief intervals each week, then we really must provide the highest quality of enriched employee workplace experience.” Mark Gorman, MCR, SLCR, Vice President of Corporate Real Estate & Facilities at Ciena, sees knowledge workers as the “new natural resource,” noting that while businesses used to locate near forests, mines, or rivers to utilize those resources, now they need to be near their workers. For corporate real estate (CRE), these economic forces are a driving a new paradigm. Just as CRE professionals must look at the existing workforce when making site selection decisions, they also will play a critical role in using real estate to attract the workers a company needs the most.

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