With workplace and worker productivity gaining increased attention from senior leadership around the globe, corporate real estate (CRE) executives in India are placing this objective as a key priority and are tackling it as an opportunity to create value.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s report, India Corporate Real Estate: On the Verge of Transformation, reveals that CRE executives in India are facing the highest productivity expectations as compared to their global peers. Indeed, 89% of them reported high expectations for workplace productivity outcomes, compared to 72% globally. Improving people and asset productivity is almost as highly expected (75% for both factors in India, compared to 61% and 47% globally).
Another sound bite around workplace perspectives at companies in India is that fewer are planning to add space in the next three years. Instead, most of them prefer to focus on workplace quality (78% in India versus 65% globally). If companies in India are hiring at the same time (the Team Lease Employment Outlook Survey [TeamLease Services Private Ltd is India’s largest and foremost people supply chain and HR services company] predicts high levels of optimism in terms of the hiring sentiment in India), occupation densities will automatically increase, as well as utilisation rates. It will be CRE’s role to make sure that worker experience is enhanced—or, at the very least, does not deteriorate—whilst density and utilisation peak.
These bullish findings, typical of India responses throughout the survey, are moderated by two facts. First, our sample base includes 78% of respondents from western MNCs operating in India. Second, a large proportion of respondents in India belong to large companies within the financial services and technology sectors, both of which traditionally put more emphasis on workplace and people productivity and set the standard for local and/or smaller companies.
Company expectations of productivity outcomes from CRE
Source : Jones Lang LaSalle, India Corporate Real Estate: On the Verge of Transformation, 2013
Question: What productivity outcomes is your organisation expecting the corporate real estate function to deliver?
(Those indicating high expectations)
Improving workplace quality and achieving high productivity expectations are not easy. A lack of investment capital is identified as the most limiting factor in driving workplace transformations by a majority of respondents in India and globally. The second inhibitor, complexity arising from cultural diversity, is more specific to India with its wide array of languages, religions and cultures. The incredibly diverse Indian workplace environment does require a special approach and strategy.
An established way to overcome this challenge is to collaborate with the other corporate functions. CRE teams in India-based companies are already ahead of many countries in working with IT, HR and finance to tackle common issues, although today, this happens mainly on an ad hoc, project basis. Taking the lead in instituting more permanent forms of collaborations, such as shared services types of partnerships, and establishing stronger relationships with the senior leadership is the way forward for CRE in India. By embracing a role of change agent acting in line with the overall business strategy, CRE leaders will be in a better position to fully realise the relevance of CRE and demonstrate its corporate value add.
About the author
Kateryna Kyryllova is a Manager in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Corporate Research team in Singapore.