By Dinesh Acharya
Recently I attended the CoreNet  event in New York that explored “The Talent Pool & Real Estate: How the Workforce Continues to Drive Location Decisions. The following blog stems from that discussion:

In today’s knowledge economy and with new ways of working, workplace location can be as important as workplace facilities, if not more so. An issue from a tenant perspective are matters of cost, convenience, corporate image and resiliency in addition to meeting the preferences of the next generation of workers, many of who value their lifestyle options as highly as their career options.

Combined with the increasing competition for talent globally, many leading edge companies are using their location, workplace and corporate cultures as key tools in recruiting and retaining the right people.

In response to this, regional hubs including but not limited to the greater NY and NJ, must continue to position themselves attractively from not only a financial perspective, but also in terms of accessibility (the ease, convenience and comfort with which people can travel to the workplace), amenity (people-related facilities such as food, retail, health, recreation, services and social interaction) and activity (the need for the workplace location to be secure and have a sense of vibrancy and buzz).

While location has always been an important consideration in premises selection, this has traditionally been predicated on the notion that all workers must come into the workplace to do their work. However this attitude is changing with the pervasiveness of mobile devices and the subsequent emergence of distributed and/ or alternative workplace strategies that enable location-independent working.

For those organizations that prefer all of their workers to come into the workplace all of the time, workplace location decisions will continue to have a tangible daily impact on workers and thus bare more weight, while those organizations that pursue flexible work practices reduce the burden of daily commuting and thus diminish the impact that workplace location decisions have on workers.

In the latter scenario, aforementioned tenant drivers of cost, convenience, corporate image and resiliency can actually be enhanced! Whatever the approach, it would seem that workplace location will continue to have meaningful and symbolic value in an increasingly virtual world.