The past decade has seen India and its real estate business going from strength to strength and International Property Consultants (IPCs) consolidating their businesses across the domain. From sector driven by owners to more professional set up, the business itself has seen a shift in the way it is represented and run. All the key major players in the country have seen a trend of going back to their core values striving towards more professionalism and best practices in the industry. New age leaders of property consultants are striving to bring the workplaces at par with the changing nature of the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) business. Business has seen some fundamental shift in workforce composition, with diversity and inclusion at being the centre of the conversation with more and more women entering the field which traditionally has been a male dominated industry in India. There is also a growing trend where businesses are attracting younger talents into the fold. What this has done is, a paradigm shift in which the workplace is seen and thus designed to address the workforce demography and their needs.
Corporate Real Estate business, though segregated with business lines largely overlap and boundaries are blurred amidst the portfolio of services under one umbrella. Often, there are same clients with multiple services requirements, hence collaborative mindset is crucial to avoid siloes. This is important for the businesses to work within the synergies of the organization. This unified mission is essential to reflect in the workplace design for the property consultants. Moreover, work is no longer a place where you go to, it goes with you, wherever you go. In such a scenario, organizations have to delve deeper to bring people together in a manner where they feel encouraged to collaborate not just within their teams but also inter-teams, in a meaningful manner.
Technology has played a crucial role in ways we connect, it enables in a lot more seamless ways to have touch points. Tools enable teams to share and contact each other with a lot more speed and effortlessly. However, human aspect of collaboration doesn’t go away. Technology can enable a robust platform but not necessarily the will and willingness to work together. Hence, comes the core values of the firms and they are practiced and nurtured by the leadership at every step until it becomes a habit.
During the last decade, the way buildings are being used has changed. Flexible spaces and demographics have played a significant role in this. Millennials and Gen Z have the ability to collaborate away from a singular environment and this has prompted businesses to adapt to the changing responses. Work is a lot more multi-layered and hence it requires an environment which facilitates the complex and intertwined sales process of Corporate Real Estate.
If we take the example of Cushman & Wakefield and its business in India, it has become imperative to keep the value chain and core business which involves client centricity and focus on client experience when they do business in a professional set up. Collaboration is pronounced in Cushman & Wakefield offices across where people can talk to each other more easily and transparency in business reflected with open offices and transparent glazed meeting rooms. The offices enhance this factor where environment is truly welcoming, fluid and people work with each other as partners as opposed to subordinates. In doing so, Cushman & Wakefield has crafted policies which reward and recognize transparency amongst their employees and partners.
While designing Cushman & Wakefield offices across India, it was truly to keep the stakeholders at the centre of designing spaces. Whether it was clients or employees, it was crucial to give maximum value in the way office design can support them in their businesses and be amongst the best in the industry. At Cushman & Wakefield, diversity and inclusion is at the core of value ecosystem. This is integrated well in the way workplace is designed and also how the policies are crafted and implemented where everyone feels included in the big vision of the firm irrespective of their gender, religion and differently abled skill set.
In India, the real estate industry is poised for changes in the next four to five years due to factors like technology, proptech and flexible spaces. This puts businesses with the expectation to be future ready with their employees, policies and their workplace design, both physical and beyond. Hence, leaders are ensuring that they not only cater to the current environment but also be ready when these changes are more swift and integral to the ecosystem. An apt example would be when Cushman & Wakefield India recently adopted a progressive Surrogacy Leave Policy for its female and single parent policy which enables them to take maximum of 24 weeks of paid leave. These are futuristic and pioneering policies for an Indian Corporate world and Cushman & Wakefield is ensuring they are future ready while embracing it.