The past couple of years have substantially disrupted the global labor force. Many industries are finding it hard to fill the ever-growing number of vacant positions due to the low supply of workers.

Part of the reason for the shrinking labor pool is the Great Resignation, where roughly 47 million people quit their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, that number has since decreased by 10.7M. However, it would be more accurate to refer to it as “The Great Reshuffle” because hiring rates have been much higher than pre-pandemic levels since November 2021. Instead of resigning and going home, employees are quitting their jobs and getting hired elsewhere.

But things are different: employees now understand their worth and are not willing to work for just any employer. A paycheck is not enough to motivate them. Employers have to take steps to appear more appealing to potential candidates and to attract the best talent. One of these steps is making commercial-property experience upgrades.

How do Commercial-Property Experience Upgrades Benefit Corporate Staffing Efforts?

To understand what people feel about their cities and what improvements can be made for the future, Gensler surveyed 12,500 residents of 25 cities from around the world in January 2022. The survey focused on safety, affordability, and work. The results were nothing short of interesting.

According to the respondents, jobs are more attractive in urban areas that offer a safer, more financially sustainable experience. Commercial properties in these locations provide a better commercial-property experience to the workers of their tenant businesses, boosting their employer branding and attracting premium talent.

This preference may seem obvious, but during this transitional time in the commercial real estate market, building, renovating, or finding a property in one of the prime locations is vital. 

The survey had some other interesting findings, including:

The desire to relocate is on the rise.

The number of people looking to relocate from their cities is rising. In Spring 2020, the average number of people who desired to move out of their city was 23%. In Spring 2022, that number has grown to 35%, with those from U.S. cities more likely than elsewhere.

The cost of living in urban centers is high.

The cost of living in urban centers has significantly increased over the past few years, and over a third of global residents have experienced wage decreases from 2020. At the moment, 44% of urban residents live paycheck to paycheck. It is nearly impossible to save for retirement or buy a home at the current cost of living in cities worldwide.

People don’t feel safe in cities.

Only 61% of urban residents worldwide feel safe in their cities, with more than a third feeling that crime and homelessness have increased since the pandemic.

The findings indicate that implementing design improvements that help people feel safe and reduce the cost of living in cities can minimize the city exodus and attract talent from other cities.

Even if the overall state of the city is poor, commercial properties in great locations can take advantage of the factors that make it a ‘good location’ to attract and retain the best talent for businesses occupying them.

What is the Future of Urban Planning?

At the moment, more than half the world’s population lives in urban centers, and the number is only going to increase, along with the number and sizes of cities. Several things will change to accommodate this growth, and most urban planners seem to agree on the following about future cities:

Urban planning will be human-centric.

Cities will be based around humans, not cars and buildings. The future workforce will be able to walk to restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other activities. Cities will have clean water, good air quality, and healthy occupants. The resulting close proximity will allow other improvements.

  • Transportation will be efficient. Autonomous vehicles will completely change transportation, freeing up space used by human drivers. Walking, biking and public transit will be more common than cars in transport.
  • Buildings will be multi-use and high-performance. Buildings will be taller and wider to accommodate more people. They will also be an ecosystem, like a city running around the clock.
  • Energy will be renewable and decentralized. Buildings will become their decentralized power plants to generate their energy. The energy sources will be renewable, such as the sun and nuclear power.

There will be plenty of green spaces. 

Research reveals that green spaces can ease mental fatigue, which can boost employee morale and work performance. In the future, green spaces will be abundant as commercial property owners will integrate micro parks, balconies, green roofs, and vertical gardening into their properties to attract employers who understand the value of green spaces. 

Workplace locations will develop in closer proximity to residential areas.

Location is critical for commercial property owners or investors. A good location boosts the overall experience for the employees, improving the employer branding, attracting more candidates, and reducing the trouble of finding a good fit for open positions. A good site is also accessible to both employees and clients.

Nevertheless, businesses and employers must be cautious when choosing a location or property to build, invest in, or lease. A look into the future of our cities can help them design and implement strategies that will put them in a good location for the long term. 

Systems That Enhance Commercial-Property Experience

Commercial real estate property owners seek cost-effective strategies to quickly raise their property’s value and make them more appealing to tenants. Giving tenants plenty of options for implementing the workspace areas is foundational to a long-term strategy. One upgrade that can add value and attract more tenants is installing cabling distribution systems, which allow collaborative teams to rework digital technologies as needed and adapt a workspace easily. The ability to move cabling installations while keeping power and low voltage access intact is the type of strategy that is helping make the transitions in these urban spaces possible. Investing in the right solutions provides a way forward and will take urban properties in transition into the next season of the workplace.

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