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Why Planning Recommendations Are Crucial for Managing Corporate Real Estate

HOK’s on-site space management teams help corporate real estate (CRE) groups optimize their portfolios and implement ongoing workplace projects. This article provides an overview of how we create Planning Recommendations and the value they offer CRE groups.

When our on-site space management clients face a headcount or portfolio change, we work with them to explore options based on their existing people and resources, workplace strategy and space needs.

At the beginning of a project, HOK’s team creates a Planning Recommendation, or Planning Rec. This document provides an overview of the current space situation, summarizes the challenges and outlines our recommendations.

How a Planning Rec Fits Into a Global Real Estate Portfolio Strategy

Implementing a CRE portfolio strategy happens one project at a time—whether it’s adding, vacating or renovating space. Rather than having the portfolio evolve in a haphazard way, a Planning Rec ensures that each project supports that strategy in a consistent way. Though doing a single Planning Rec may seem tactical, each outcome is very strategic.

Consider the approach for a company that has 200 new employees who will start in one month. Simply ordering 200 desks without doing the proper due diligence would not be an informed portfolio decision. In fact, HOK’s recommendations often challenge conventional 1:1 employee-to-desk ratios.

HOK’s on-site space management team would help this company decide whether to take space in desks on a new floor, work within its existing space or try a completely different workplace solution. We would ask the client how their people need to work, whether the new employees could be split up or whether they need adjacencies with other groups. We would explore whether they could be accommodated in vacant space or in an occupied space with a more efficient plan.

The final Planning Rec would consider all the unique variables viewed through the lens of the client’s overall workplace strategy and business goals.

The Process for Creating a Planning Rec

Our on-site space management team begins by collecting information about a client’s overall portfolio, including total square footage, workspace sizes, existing conditions compared to their workplace strategy and the percentage of enclosed offices.

We then analyze their business drivers, special requirements, work styles, growth forecasts and headcount projections related to the project they are considering.

HOK’s final Planning Rec takes all this into consideration and provides a summary of space options that could range from reconfiguring current space to occupying new floors or buildings in a different city. It includes test fits and final recommendations.

The Value of a Planning Rec

A Planning Rec helps clients accommodate their current space needs within an overall workplace strategy. It takes the guesswork out of real estate planning decisions and encourages them to think in terms of their actual needs compared to their space.

HOK’s Planning Rec also can do the heavy lifting for CRE teams that need to pitch ideas to their end users, boards or internal executives for buy-in. It is a thorough, transparent due diligence document that helps them make the best decisions for their business.

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