Commercial Real Estate News Brief: May 2016

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In the latest edition of our monthly news brief, JLL’s regional team curates the top industry articles to keep you in-the-know. In this month’s edition, JLL spotlights why workplace strategy is a must, the future of human-to-machine collaboration, plus new research on the commercial real estate market rebound.

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The Need for a Workplace Strategy

Workplace design isn’t what it used to be. Old-fashioned office space embraces private rooms, closed doors, and the ratio of 1 employee to every 250 square feet. Now modern companies are putting couches in lounges, using open floor plans, and cutting the employee-to-square-feet ratio in half.

More than ever, we’re seeing an endless stream of workplace trends and fads. Some keep employees happy and productive; others are better left out of office …

Obviously, workplace design is not one-size-fits-all. The most successful and productive offices are driven by a customized strategy.

An office design strategy tailored to its occupants prepares organizations for future changes and innovations. There are a few trends that consistently contribute to employee output and enjoyment, including:

  • Open workspace. Effective open offices need to maximize opportunities for collaboration while simultaneously minimizing distractions.
  • Adaptable infrastructure. Change is inevitable. That’s why workspace layout, furniture and framework must be adjustable.
  • Green initiatives. Sustainability isn’t just good for the office—it’s good for employees too. The quality and comfort of lighting, temperature and acoustics all impact employee contentment and productivity.

Commercial Real Estate Markets Get Back on Track 

The commercial real estate market experienced a slow start to 2016, but in recent months, JLL research observed positive momentum. Investor sentiment is on the upswing, and a significant amount of capital is already targeting specific assets for 2016.

Other highlights from JLL’s latest Global Market Perspective include:

  • Global office vacancy rates are expected to stay around 12% for the rest of 2016, and leasing volumes are projected to match those of 2015 despite uncertainty.
  • Retail sales have proven “resilient” over the last four quarters in the U.S. Expect this trend to continue with increased consumer confidence.
  • Largely thanks to e-commerce and supply chain redesigns, global warehousing demand is also on the rise.

Download the full report for an in-depth look at commercial real estate market rebound.

The Future of Human-to-Machine Collaboration

Coworkers, in the traditional sense, are a crucial component of life at work. Getting lunch together, brainstorming, and chatting over coffee in the break room … it’s all part of the office experience.

Now, a new type of coworker named cognitive computing is entering the modern workforce—armed with intelligence and insight that’s shaping the future for a more productive and streamlined work experience. These machines are learning how to detect employee preferences, automate various tasks, and even make decisions.

Peter Miscovich, Managing Director, Strategy and Innovation at JLL, says, “Increasing workforce automation will provide new levels of greater workforce efficiency, enhanced human to machine collaboration and new innovative machine learning capabilities that will drive business and financial performance.”

While working with machines may seem futuristic, now is the time to embrace the pace of innovation to avoid becoming obsolete.

CRE News Wrap-Up in Our Region 




  • The 38-year-old organization for “new and experimental art,” SPACES, found a new home in Hingetown on 2900 Detroit Ave. The expanded office space will make room for community programming and studio space.
  • Progressive Insurance is introducing prospective employees to Northeast Ohio with video footage of Cleveland’s greatest attractions. The video features Playhouse Square, Severance Hall, and other must-see city attractions.