Real Estate Trend Study: Companies need a "green thread"

© Drees & Sommer

A flexible mix of home office and office attendance, much greater environmental awareness, and investment in digitization despite significant austerity measures – these are the key findings of the current ‘Real Estate in Industry’ trend study undertaken by the Stuttgart-based planning and consulting company Drees & Sommer SE. A total of 140 real estate managers answered questions about topics including management organization, the new work environment, and sustainability. The aim was to capture the current mood and identify developments during the coronavirus crisis.

It’s well over a year since the coronavirus pandemic turned both life and the office world upside down. Those who could had to move their office to their own homes almost overnight – and since then have presumable primarily communicated via video call instead of in person in the conference room. And this state of affairs has remained unchanged since: 96 percent of respondents indicated that they work remotely most or at least some of the time. More than two-thirds of respondents expect these conditions to continue in the long term, while only one in ten expects greater use of the company office as soon as circumstances permit.

But even though the door to the home office has now been thrown wide open and employees appreciate the greater flexibility and additional free time, almost half of all real estate managers long to return to regular work in the office. Above all, people want flexibility. Given the choice, 48 percent would prefer to work in the office three days a week and from home on two. Amazingly, not a single person wanted to work from home every day of the week.

Sustainability is key

Last year, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched the new European Bauhaus initiative as part of the European Green Deal. The focus is on the call to combine design, economic viability and sustainability. At 94 percent, almost all respondents feel greater pressure to behave in an environmentally conscious way in contrast to the previous year, when only 60 percent reported such pressure.