Creating space – What will corporate real estate look like in the digital era?   

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Cisco’s CEO John Chambers is predicting that the Digital era is the biggest technology transition the world has witnessed and that the majority of companies will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 to 15 years because they will fail to internalize this change. While I’m not sure if that timeframe is a bit of an overestimation, with the fall of Sears last week and the steady decline of many other household brands, the direction is certainly “innovate now or perish”.

Now we ask: What are the implications for real estate, and specifically corporate real estate? How will the market of the corporate real estate be reinvented? or in Chambers words: what will the new customer experience for the corporation be in the digital era?

Our best shot to imagine the future is by studying the trend of co-working spaces, led by WeWork. This trend is in full steam ahead, but only regarding small size companies and individuals. This is quite obvious, as co-working culture has little to do with corporate real-estate.  The actual effect that co-working is having on the market is in its ability to take up a significant amount of space, becoming one of the biggest tenants in major cities, and in some cases, corporations are left with no choice but to use co-working solutions to set up offices.  

Co-working companies have little to offer to corporations, as these have no need for a “new culture”. On the contrary, they are deeply engaged in protecting their identity and showing off their culture. Just look at Apple’s new headquarters, Amazon’s new buildings in Seattle or Microsoft’s campus in Herzliya – they are all structures of identity.

So this question stays open, with the only certainty being that change is on its way. That is the reason that Hamerton is committed to investing significant resources, in the research and development of the next generation of corporate real estate, working with its existing community to form a new customer experience that will fit their needs to help them move better and faster in the digital era. Join us to find out what that experience looks like.

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