The tangible influence of virtual workplaces at MIPIM 2016

Posted on 20/03/2016

MIPIM, the world’s leading property market, brought together the most influential players from all international real estate sectors - office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivalled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. The 27th edition took place in Cannes, France from 15-18 March 2016. 

The influence of the virtual workplace was really tangible. Innovative workplace strategies that efficiently leverage human capital are increasingly valuable in today’s volatile economic environment. While organizations have long employed virtual work arrangements as a tool to recruit and retain key employees, implementing a virtual workforce is becoming a broader strategic option to reduce operating and real estate expenses. 

The prevalence of virtual workers – employees whose primary work location is their home or other non-traditional locations – has increased rapidly. Access to high speed internet connections, software solutions that enable remote collaboration and improved telephone conferencing systems all allow employees to work seamlessly with colleagues around the world. 

The combination of a greater focus on employer and employee cost cutting initiatives, the increasing influence of the Millennial generation on workplace practices and benefits, and new tax incentives for virtual work programs are contributing to the growth of virtual workforces. 

Realizing the benefits and minimizing the hidden costs of virtual work programs requires careful planning by an organization. By overcoming barriers to implementation, determining readiness and adopting strategies for success, organizations can make themselves ready for the new reality of virtual work. 

The expected rewards associated with virtual work programs are well documented and include a combination of reduced fixed costs, improved scores on human capital metrics and the long-term benefits of building a virtual workforce culture. Organizational success stories involving a restructuring towards an increasingly virtual workforce most often focus on real estate cost savings, and increased employee performance and retention. However, other benefits can include improved recruitment, organizational attraction and corporate sustainability. 

Real estate cost savings associated with moving employees out of offices or other facilities are tangible and easily accountable savings, not only for big corporates such as IBM, Sun Microsystems or Nortel, but for all kinds of organizations. But even if nearly all employees can be turned into virtual workers, those organizations still will need offices.

At HDS we offer them the best of both worlds: huge real estate cost savings but still business address services and director services.