Nearly 400 attendees tuned into our live event on November 12th, 2020 featuring top CRE leaders from WeWork, Microsoft and EY.
- Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, WeWork
- Michael Ford, VP Global Real Estate & Security, Microsoft
- David Kamen, Americas Real Estate Leader, EY
Watch the recording here.
Download the slide deck here.
Below is a sneak peek on the major topics that were covered by our panel:
It’s All About Flexibility
Michael Ford: “Flexible workspace continues to be a core element of our portfolio strategy. Flexible workspace, coworking spaces, and the like are all part of the broader strategy, and we plan to continue to review its applicability to every circumstance.”
David Kamen: “We need access to highly flexible options with integrated technologies, but not just in the tier-one cities. We need these solutions just as much if not more in second-tier and third-tier cities.”
Sandeep Mathrani: “I was talking to someone the other day and he said, ‘I really want a 10-year lease.’ And I said, ‘How about if I give you a two-year lease with eight one-year options?’ And he said, ‘Would you do that?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m in a flexible business.’”
Technology Will Be at the Forefront of Change
Michael Ford: “During a group meeting, we may have 50% of the attendees working from home or from other locations, with the other 50% in the conference room. In order to create a seamless experience, we have to blend the physical of the space and digital experience together.”
David Kamen: “I think one challenge for us going forward is going to be, how can we track utilization differently than we did in the past, as we will more than likely have opportunity to work differently. This will be more than likely driven by technology – we will continue to leverage while also thinking about how we will do things differently.”
Managing Culture and Employee Agency is Paramount
Sandeep Mathrani: “So the long-term impact of working from home is still unknown because we don’t know what the impacts of mental health will be.”
David Kamen: “Pre-pandemic, our people would come to the office, and have a variety of ways of working; to work collaboratively, to socialize, and work privately. We are very proud of our internal culture. Managing the cultural, environmental, and social impact of a new workplace model is a challenge and something we are thinking a great deal about, as well as how to expand into the new ways of working.”
Michael Ford: “Prior to COVID-19, there were roughly 5% of Microsoft’s employees working from home full time, most of those in the sales and marketing area. We foresee this number shifting to 15%, maybe even 20%, working from home more than 50% of the time per week.
Additionally, what we’re seeing is about 80 to 85% of employees want to work on site three days or more per week. We anticipate adding more unassigned and collaboration space throughout our portfolio and that could be in our own space, leased space or coworking/flex.”