As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q4 2015 Issue
By Robert Kossar Executive Managing Director, JLL
Real estate plays a role in productivity and innovation
As demands on the C-suite continue to shift, executive leaders are demanding change in the structure and cost profile of their real estate portfolios. Although typical concerns regarding real estate still include whether or not there is too much space, too little space, or the wrong kind of space for the company’s operations and culture, decisions must also be made about the ways employees use the workplace, based on activity.
Today’s CFO helps determine how real estate supports the broader needs of the business, beyond square footage. Working with internal stakeholders, the CFO helps set real-estate objectives and helps determine the financial and operational impact of the company’s portfolio. Organizational success relies on this integration of internal groups across the organization, connecting them to the C-suite, to better empower all levels of workers and drive change.
As CFOs better understand workplace strategy trends, they can also best determine portfolio needs to attract and retain talent who can focus on innovation and increase productivity. Leveraging space-utilization studies and the latest technology to determine space requirements and configurations can help CFOs make real estate an integral part of the business equation. In cases where commercial real estate (CRE) experts are engaged in the organization’s real-estate process, they understand the bottom-line focus of CFOs, and to that end, incorporate tactics to increase portfolio flexibility, improve the environmental efficiencies of each building in the portfolio, and adjust occupational density for the company’s workforce to help reduce cost and deliver savings.
CFOs can rely on CRE experts to provide processes, vendor access, owner/occupier relationships, market intelligence, opportunities for incentives, valuations, sustainability measures, and data technology to provide the company with a competitive edge. The C-suite continues to drive out waste to achieve a competitive advantage in the market. It remains imperative that CFOs constantly evaluate and re-evaluate their business’ real-estate needs, and ensure optimal efficiency and productivity while striving to manage costs.