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Workforce segmentation: Connecting workplace supply and demand
It is important that real estate space planning be highly responsive to workforce planning. As workforce demographics, behaviours and needs change, real estate should support these changes accordingly. Pre-pandemic, there were many organisations which over-provisioned space (eg 1:1 people to seats, high ratios of individual to collaboration space, low utilisation) and operated in a business-as-usual approach when it came to facility planning. Innovative real estate solutions are rooted in a thorough understanding of the workforce and are designed to reflect how an organisation needs to work to be successful. The pandemic has revealed that a greater level of job flexibility is sustainable and desirable for many, meaning that workplace strategies will account for a broad spectrum of work locations and arrangements moving forward. With this added complexity, conducting workforce segmentation analysis is a key first step toward a more defined plan for real estate needs. This paper articulates the benefits of using workforce segmentation as a tool to support real estate decision making. In addition, it outlines a segmentation process that organisations can institute to memorialise the unique needs of their employees and better gauge how their workplace can support them. Finally, it provides examples of how organisations have leveraged the segmentation process to better understand the demand for space and accurately evaluate footprint requirements and long-term strategies.
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Dejeana Chappell is a senior manager in Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Real Estate, Workplace Strategy practice within the Strategy and Transactions group. DeJeana leads the workplace strategy team, which serves clients nationally. During her career, she has provided expertise in strategising, designing and implementing workplace programmes to support clients in reimagining their workspace and real estate portfolios to enhance employee experience and space utilisation, improve flexibility and deliver enterprise workplace and organisational transformation.
Zahra Sheikh is a senior manager in Ernst & Young LLP’s People Advisory Services group, focusing on serving financial services clients. She supports clients looking to navigate change, leading organisational and operating model design, change management and culture initiatives. During her career, Zahra has focused on developing engaging and impactful employee experiences based on data-driven approaches and leveraging digital means. This has enabled organisations to accelerate their transformation objectives, supporting their workforce to embrace change, develop skills and evolve the talent culture.
Theresa Broderick is a manager in Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Real Estate, Workplace Strategy practice within the Strategy and Transactions group. She takes a user-centric and analytical approach to advising clients on hybrid work and mobility programmes, workplace enhancement, employee experience and workspace programming. During Theresa’s career, she has helped clients across many industries achieve greater alignment between business, human resources and space objectives as they reimagine their workplaces.
Sara Konstand is a manager in Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Real Estate, Workplace Strategy practice within the Strategy and Transactions group. She advises clients on real estate portfolio and workplace strategies. During Sara’s career, she has helped clients reimagine their vision for how they will work in the future and better align space with their organisational goals and business drivers.
Katie Koncar is a senior associate in Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Real Estate, Workplace Strategy practice within the Strategy and Transactions group. She assists clients in strategising their corporate real estate portfolios to achieve maximum increased efficiency by aligning people objectives with business objectives. During Katie’s career, she has helped companies of varying scale, industry and maturity identify and realise real estate cost savings by reimagining their workplace purpose and requirements.
Elizabeth Krueger was a senior associate in Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Real Estate, Workplace Strategy practice within the Strategy and Transactions group. She assisted clients in tackling return-to-work challenges and implementing new ways of working that enable new operating models. During Elizabeth’s career she helped clients through commercial real estate valuation, due diligence and portfolio analysis.