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Technology Affects Commercial Real Estate To A Greater Extent
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Technology has touched all spheres of life in every way possible. In fact it has become such an indispensable part of our daily lives now, that we have taken it absolutely for granted. The same holds true for Commercial Real Estate too. Now people prefer to work in employee friendly offices that afford them a world of facilities which help to unleash their potential to the maximum. This leads to happier and certainly more productive workers. One must thank the stupendous breakthrough in technology to appreciate this. In order to understand the role of technology in commercial realty, we need to visualise a world without the convenience of cutting edge technology.
One simply needs to go back in time and take a look at the huge office spaces that were so much required for any business to run successfully. With the huge collection of data, and the endless collection of files dating back to the early days, storage space was a substantial part of the real estate office. Each and every data had to be written down and stored in respective files. These files were then stored in utility racks that not only took up space, but was also time consuming as one had to spend a major portion of time looking for and tracing required data. Also the desks people used only a decade ago were spread out over a large area as computers were really big then not to mention the gigantic mobile phones. This has easily reduced by a couple of feet with slimmer monitors and sleek phones.
Obviously now that all information is on the finger tips and work has been made easier by the advancement of technology, the employee productivity has increased substantially lessening the number of people required. Thus there has been a reduction in the number of seats in any office. Overheads are low and this leads to reduced expenses in terms of office running cost.
However, the reduction of space requirement is not the only paradigm shift that has happened due to technology. Now we need 24 X 7 power provisions for computers to operate continuously. Offices need high speed access to internet that brings the world at our finger tips within moments and makes the job a lot easier and faster. Yesteryear’s luxuries are today’s necessities like proper cabling in the building for telephones, internet and CCTV; sleek and affordable air conditioning makes for enhanced productivity. Unlike the situation a few years ago nowadays companies have 24 X 7 operations with round the clock security systems. The disaster resistant buildings in earthquake zones and other natural calamity prone areas are a necessity now so that businesses work nonstop.
Nowadays commercial real estate has changed in compliance with the way we have changed our work. It contrives and connives in every way possible to cater to the changing needs of the customer. One must not focus on building small office spaces only. BPO offices and IT companies have mushroomed all over in the major cities across India. These offices need a large floor plate and consume a lot of sq. feet area. Plus they need office spaces where they can pay the entire amount in white as they do not have black money. Many tech savvy companies also require environment friendly LEED certified offices and these needs have to be taken into serious consideration while building an office for them. Basically, offices should be built with the customer in mind and should serve the purpose in its entirety.
The newly opened Apple headquarters is a perfect example of the changing face of commercial offices. It is a 2.8-million-square-foot spaceship parked in a verdant man-made forest in the northeast corner of Cupertino. It is going to be a beautiful place to work in where employees can enjoy. The prestige of Apple plus the ambience of the enviable atmosphere that is sure to foster maximum creativity makes the office worthwhile in every respect. This kind of office fosters employee creativity besides giving a refreshing feel to the workplace.
The bottom line is making a building which is demanded by competitive business environment of today. Invest in commercial places which meet such demands and you will get a good return over it. Today an office needs to be aesthetically pleasing while fulfilling all criteria that make for optimum productivity. The changing face of commercial real estate has affirmed this and the trend will continue to remain so as technology progresses. Take a guess and try to conjure a picture of what an IT office will look like in 2020? Maybe the new Apple headquarters that the world is going gaga about will be razed for more ‘in’ offices then.
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