By Brattle Cameron, Incendium’s talent specialists.
The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for CRE professionals to change the perception of the profession.
Although many of us truly enjoy our jobs and are proud of what we do, explaining CRE can be a bit of a conversation killer. But now we have entered the largest remote working experiment, enabled by technology, but delivered at pace by CRE teams and their providers around the world, then there is a chance that the perception and reality of our industry may have changed forever.
The transformation was already underway in the decade before COVID-19: CRE work-streams were initiated that focused on themes such as “nextgen working environment” and the “workplace of the future”. Teams were built to analyse and execute on location strategies to ensure organisations were optimally located in terms of talent, infrastructure, cost and services, whilst others were hired to “redefine / curate colleague experiences” across the globe and create “wellbeing strategies” – recognising the need to focus on and care for the “person”, not just the physical asset. The combined impact of these initiatives on talent attraction, retention and productivity was just starting to be understood.
We were on a journey towards improved agility and flexibility, with some headline grabbing disruptors challenging views on how “we” work and what we want from the workplace. But in real terms, progress was often slow, held back by traditional perceptions, behaviours and working practices, sometimes from within CRE, but also from above at the C-suite / decision making layer where meaningful change needs to be initiated from.