Balancing cost controls with real estate investment and innovation opportunities
This vision of a hybrid workplace that’s flexible, employee-centric, and able to meet the needs of our company and goals sounds great—but it comes at a high cost. How do we balance managing fiscally responsible capital expenditure and creating a space that will enable this further?
For our hybrid workspace to work, we’ve established standards and benchmarks—metrics with expected inflation increases that we use to plan long-term. One of our key strategies as a firm is to align our suppliers, from furniture vendors to technology suppliers, to optimize operations, get access to competitive prices, secure effective service level agreements (SLAs), and free up funds to invest in innovation.
“From a real estate planning perspective, our ongoing strategy is focused on finding that sweet spot between serving the right locations, our client needs, and accessibility to our talent. Taking a full inventory of our real estate footprint and aligning that with our needs will be increasingly important moving forward,” says Jameson Bouffard, Partner, National Real Estate & Construction Leader, BDO Canada.
“To reach those goals, we are consistently evaluating our current needs, but also forecasting the future needs of our business, our employees, and our clients.”
Where do we want to be accessible to clients and staff? Which markets are advantageous for us? Which aren’t? These are important questions we considered throughout the development of our long-term real estate strategy.
“The future of cities is fluid and a versatile real estate strategy should account for that. This means being familiar with the future development plans of cities, knowing where urban development is headed, and trying to stay ahead of that curve by having a plan for the immediate, medium, and long term,” Bouffard adds.
An essential part of our commercial real estate equation is sustainability, from waste reduction and energy efficiency to how (and why) we use our physical space. We’re highly focused on finding ways to incorporate ESG features coming into the market and continually estimating the future demand for office space to ensure our physical footprint remains lean enough for our needs.