How aligned is HR with Corporate Real Estate?

While walking around the City yesterday it struck me that I have been pushing the significance of the relationship between people, technology and real estate, and there I was showing a client’s Head of HR and Chief Information Officer around office space. This inclusion of an HR representative in the decision process for acquisition of real estate has become increasingly common in the corporate sector. Gone are the days where solely those in charge of real estate assets are involved, with the impact of company premises on the recruitment and retention of employees becoming a paramount concern.

This idea is one I am finding myself returning to daily and was articulated perfectly by Despina Katsikakis in a Huffington Post article in July this year:

“People and real estate are a company’s most valuable assets and by developing them both in tandem and with technology we can unlock significant value.”

This reciprocal relationship between HR and Facilities Management, integrated with IT, has been highlighted in a MITIE survey looking at the office space corporate companies are occupying. MITIE’s interviews with property directors has shed light on the strengthening working relationship between IT, Facilities Management and HR. This collaboration shows that sensitivity to employees’ need for flexibility is important when choosing space for said employees to occupy. In terms of the size of space, the survey found that real estate is being used more efficiently with companies achieving an average reduction of 45% of their floor space.

On yesterday’s viewings, both the head of HR and the CIO were primarily concerned about selecting the best building  to attract the best talent – a far cry from viewings I attended ten years ago where only the property director had any sway.

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