Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 11th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online

“However they get customers to sign up, supermarkets are likely going to have to spend a lot of money in promotions and deals as they try to make delivery more popular among consumers. This, of course, advantages Amazon, which has deep pockets and has long been able to convince shareholders that spending up front on getting customers in the door has long-term dividends. This has never been Peapod’s strategy—it outlasted competitors like Webvan because it never spent a lot of money it didn’t have, Parkinson told me.”

A Peapod employee fulfills an online order (Alana Semuels / The Atlantic)

“The beginning of the year is often a time for fresh starts. It marks a new period — a distinct point between the past and the future — which motivates people to set new goals and strive for self-improvement.

But what if you were already doing pretty well? Would a fresh start still be motivating? Or might it actually set you back?

I explored these questions in the context of work performance. Across one field study and three laboratory experiments, I found that a fresh start on people’s performance records — what I call a “performance reset” — affected their motivation and future performance differently, depending on their past performance.”

Remembering Herb Kelleher: The Power of Authentically Engaging Employees

“He was the best listener I’ve ever met in my life,” Parker said. “You tell people that and they’re kind of surprised (because) he always talks so much.”

His attention was always focused on the conversation. It didn’t matter who else was in the room or walked into the room, Parker said.

“He was intently listening,” Parker said. “That was really helpful to me. What I realized is that’s how he learned so much. And he really cared about what people had to say and their thoughts and where they came from. … I think that’s how he go so well in touch with his people (at Southwest). That’s how he got to know what was going on at his airline.”

“Kelleher was a legendary character and an upstart maverick who disrupted an industry.”

How To Remember Names

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
-Dale Carnegie

One of the best ways to make a favorable first impression — and to get ahead socially or in business — is to remember people’s names. You can improve your ability to remember names if you will follow these four steps”

Workplace Theft Is on the Rise

Your office is a den of thieves. Don’t take my word for it: When a forensic-accounting firm surveyed workers in 2013, 52 percent admitted to stealing company property. And the thievery is getting worse. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that theft of “non-cash” property—ranging from a single pencil in the supply closet to a pallet of them on the company loading dock—jumped from 10.6 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2002 to 21 percent in 2018. Managers routinely order up to 20 percent more product than is necessary, just to account for sticky-fingered employees.



Some items—scissors, notebooks, staplers—are pilfered perennially; others vanish on a seasonal basis: The burn rate on tape spikes when holiday gifts need wrapping, and parents ransack the supply closet in August, to avoid the back-to-school rush at Target. After a new Apple gadget is released, some workers report that their company-issued iPhone is broken—knowing that IT will furnish a replacement, no questions asked.”

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

February 4th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

15 Years Ago, Google’s CEO Had a Brilliant Response to a Tricky Interview Question – and it Helped Him Get Hired

“When it comes to job interviews, we all want to give answers that make us stand out from the rest of the candidates. That means knowing how to answer each question, including the tricky ones designed to stump you.

But what if you don’t know the answer to a question?”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Make Way for Generation Z in the Workplace

They are risk-averse and more diverse, says Inc. magazine. Forbessays they “want to work on their own and be judged on their own merits rather than those of their team.”

Generation Z is arriving, and they are different than previous generations – or at least that’s how this young cohort is being portrayed as it begins to enter the workforce. After the traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y/millennials, we have Generation Z – that group born after 1995 now starting to graduate college.

But is Generation Z really different, and if so, how? When it comes to ascribing characteristics and accepting advice about a particular generation, caveat emptor. Over-generalizing about any group is a slippery business.” www.knowledge,wharton,edu

2019 Workplace Trend Predictions

The Fox Architects office just received the Fitwel 3 Star Rating – Image by Ron Blunt Photography

“Happy New Year, WDM readers! Work Design publisher, Bob Fox has again spent the month of January picking the brains of industry experts, clients, and peers while reviewing patterns in the market to round up his predictions for the biggest workplace trends in 2019. His list of five major trends include some new and some continuations that he expects will make an impact on the workplace this year..”

Modern Office Design: The One Thing Employees Want Most

“In the war for top talent, many employers assume the way to win is to offer employees unique and trendy perks—arcade games in the breakroom, fully-stocked beer fridges and on-site dry cleaning services, to name a few. It’s a reasonable assumption since those are the kinds of fringe benefits mega-successful corporate giants like Google and Amazon provide.

However, there’s one simple element of modern office design that has a much greater effect on employee productivity and well-being: abundant natural light.”

“As a content-obsessed millennial, I have made podcasts part of my daily routine for years. I listen while commuting, cooking, running errands, putting away laundry, washing dishes or during any relatively mindless activity that can be done while wearing wireless headphones.

My bond with podcasts is so cemented that it comes as a shock when someone I meet at a party — or someone in my family, or a friend I thought I knew — tells me that they, in the year 2019, do not listen to podcasts. And never have. And don’t really get what it’s all about. And, worse, don’t quite know how to start.”


Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

January 28th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Amazon Pushing Hard Into Ocean Shipping, Making it Easier for Chinese Goods to Get to You

“Quietly and below the radar, Amazon has been ramping up its ocean shipping service, sending close to 4.7 million cartons of consumers goods from China to the United States over the past year, records show.

This marks a significant move into what many believe is the company’s overall strategy of eventually controlling much of its transportation network, from trucks to airplanes and now to ships.”

A cargo ship carrying shipping containers

(Photo: Getty Images)

Future and Growth of Transportation Market by 2020

Future and Growth of Transportation Market by 2020
Image credit: Shutterstock

“The business world is facing a complete overturn, and so does every industry vertical. The spending on IoT (Internet of Things) in the digital age is going to increase multifold with a net worth crossing $581 billion by 2020, as per McKinsey. Transportation and logistics are the backbones of the economy and an integral part of almost every business are also going to spend over $40 billion on IoT platforms, systems, and services by 2020, as per Statista. These facts clearly signify the new opportunities that the Transportation market is expecting in near future.” 

The 512W22 office building in Manhattan has 16,920 square feet of terraces and a common roof, all planted with native grasses and trees. CreditCreditCookFox Architects

“For years, office architects and designers have been bringing nature into the workplace, incorporating materials like wood and stone and strategically deploying plants and botanical artwork.

Now, companies are inviting employees to step outside for a taste of the real thing.

Employers with suburban campuses have long turned swaths of blank lawn into furnished outdoor areas where workers can meet with colleagues, work alone or simply take a break from their computer screens.

Now, developers and owners of urban office buildings are adding terraces and transforming once-barren rooftops into parklike settings, where workers can plant vegetables, unfurl yoga mats or swing in a hammock.”

Biggest Multistory Warehouse In The U.S. Planned For Brooklyn

A rendering of Sunset Industrial Park, a four-story, 1.3M SF warehouse planned in Brooklyn

“This will be a groundbreaking project for the U.S. industrial market, not only because of the building’s unprecedented design — essentially, four separate, stacked distribution centers — but also because of the enormous benefit it will have from a ‘last mile’ standpoint,” Bridge Northeast Region partner Jeff Milanaik said in a press release. ”

Upward Momentum: Charting a Year of Skyscraper Construction

Charting a Year of Skyscraper Construction

Ever since the first towering spires broke through the clouds in New York and Chicago, skyscrapers have remained a potent symbol of economic might.

The tallest buildings require vast amounts of materials, expertise, and capital to make them a reality, but the cities that add these landmarks to their skylines gain prestige and send a powerful message to competing economic centers.


Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

January 14th, 2019

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

Construction Costs Complicating Developer Pricing, Tenant Decisions

“At North American Properties‘ Colony Square redevelopment project, the prolific developer secured an agreement with its general contractor that will cap any construction cost increases.

That was something that the developer rarely ever considered before the Great Recession of 2008, Managing Partner Mark Toro said.

“Pre-recession, we did not see the kind of run-up [on construction pricing] that we have seen this time in this cycle,” Toro said. “The level of activity is not unprecedented by any means … but it’s by far the most activity we’ve seen in our careers. And that’s what’s leading to the pricing pressure.”

“After a morning of tedious three-ring-binder presentations from executives, and stuffy lectures by professors, it was time for the keynote speaker. Herb walked to the podium, lit a cigarette, poured a glass of Wild Turkey bourbon, and delivered what remains the most hilarious, baudy, utterly brilliant CEO speech I have ever heard. When I spent a little time with him after the talk, I realized immediately that I was in the presence of leadership greatness — an entrepreneur who was as smart as he was sassy, as competitive as he was human, as consequential as he was approachable.”


How Google Will Destroy Uber

“Google’s Waymo has officially launched the world’s first self-driving, ride-sharing service! Residents in four Phoenix suburbs can now ride around in its robo-taxis for a small fee.

In RiskHedge, I recently explained why self-driving cars are going to gut the auto industry like a fish. And Phoenix is only the first step in Waymo’s domination of American roads.

Here’s why…..”

This Book List Will Almost Earn You A Ph.D. In Leadership

“Some books stick with you, long after you’ve closed the cover. The best books linger for decades, changing the way you look at the world. Those were the sorts of books we requested when we asked 20 world-class scholars to recommend titles for our 2018 list of the best leadership books available.

You can’t actually earn a Ph.D. in leadership from reading these books. (If you really do want to earn your doctorate, we hope you’ll check out this Ph.D. program in leadership, for senior executives.) What the books will do for you, however, is provide mind-stretching insights that help you think deeper and lead stronger.

We assembled this list of readings from some of the smartest people we know: top scholars with extensive practitioner experience. We asked them to tell us about the books that changed the way they think and lead.

The remarkable list ranges in year of publication from 1958 to 2018, and the topics are almost as diverse. Below we share the insights of the experts who recommended each title. We also suggest who on your holiday list might enjoy reading each book”

Here’s What the Big Tech Companies Know About You

“The novelty of the internet platform boom has mostly worn off.

Now that companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet are among the world’s most valued companies, people are starting to hold them more accountable for the impact of their actions on the real world.

From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the transparency of Apple’s supply chain, it’s clear that big tech companies are under higher scrutiny. Unsurprisingly, much of this concern stems around one key currency that tech companies leverage for their own profitability: personal data.”

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

We Interrupt The Normal Bookmarks Blog Post to Bring You Some POSITIVE Economic News

January 7th, 2019

For a number of years I’ve curated updates in this space on the CRE world. Today, we take a short break to focus on a different topic – the economy. I’m frustrated that some media outlets harp only on the negative news at every turn. This is one of the best economies of our lifetime – please read beyond the trending and check out the good news out there. #factsmatter #don’tjustreadtheheadlines

Credit: iStock

The Labor Market Would Like You All To Stop Panicking Now Please

“Job gains were led by the healthcare industry, which added 50,000 jobs in December, as well as construction, which added 38,000 jobs. Construction employment increased by 280,000 jobs over the year.” 

'The Labor Market Would Like You All To Stop Panicking Now Please': Economists React To December Jobs Report On Twitter

Fed Chair in Atlanta Boasts About Economy

“…Powell said he remains upbeat and has not made up his mind about further rate hikes this year.

“There is no preset path for policy,” he said. “We are always prepared to shift economic policy and to shift it significantly.”

The Fed is “listening carefully to the message that the market is sending,” he said.

Powell spoke Friday after release of the monthly government report that showed a gain of 312,000 jobs in December – about twice as many as had been expected. The report also showed wages rising. While the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9 percent, that increase was caused by a surge of new workers, he said.

That report was evidence that the economy is chugging along steadily and can probably more easily handle more rate hikes.”


Strong U.S. Job and Wage Growth Provides Assurance on Economy

“All the while, the economy kept cranking out jobs. U.S. employers added a net 2.64 million jobs to their payrolls in 2018, the best year since 2015. Payrolls have grown for 99 straight months, by far the longest stretch of steady hiring on record.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.9% in December from 3.7% but remains low by historical standards. The increase owed in part to more people entering the workforce, some of whom get counted as unemployed while they’re looking for work.

Stock prices, already moving up on the economic news, jumped even higher after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed would be patient about further increases in rates this year.”[WSJ Paywall]


Businesses across many sectors have been searching for workers as the labor market has tightened.
Businesses across many sectors have been searching for workers as the labor market has tightened. PHOTO: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Stocks Surge on Powell Remarks, Jobs Report

“U.S. stocks bounced back from their worst two-day start to a year since 2000, soaring Friday after fresh signs of economic strength eased fears that slowing growth around the world could drag on the U.S. expansion.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 750 points as better-than-expected hiring in December suggested a healthy labor market. Stocks rose further after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said economic data suggest good momentum heading into the new year, but that the central bank is “prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly” if necessary.

The combination mitigated investors’ worries about an economic slowdown. Those fears sent waves of volatility sweeping through stock and bond markets in recent weeks…” [WSJ Paywall]

Q and A on the Big December Jobs Report

“The big news is that the jobs market apparently didn’t get the memo that the U.S. economy was barreling toward a recession. In fact, the jobs numbers came in a lot stronger than expected. Payrolls were up 312,000 in December, compared with expectations for about 180,000, and bringing the full count of jobs added for 2018 up to 2.6 million jobs, the strongest year for job gains since 2015. Wage growth accelerated slightly and, at 3.3 percent (before inflation) for mid-level workers, tied an earlier cyclical high. Weekly hours edged up slightly, jobs gains for the prior two months were revised up, and 70 percent of private industries added jobs on net, a high share for that metric.”

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

November 26th, 2018

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

The Benefits of a Short Attention Span

I’ll make this a quick read | “..yet blaming smartphones for our distractibility feels too easy—human attention has always been fleeting. A study conducted several years before the first iPhone was unveiled found that workers spent an average of just two minutes using a particular tool or document before switching to another. Moreover, interruptions may have a silver lining. Many workers who were insulated from distraction by website-blocking software became more aware of time’s passage and were able to work for longer stretches—but also reported higher stress levels as a result of their sustained focus.

Illustration: woman looking at phone

For those seeking to exercise greater control over their attention span, science has some suggestions. A 2016 study found that mindfulness meditation led to short-term improvements in attention and focus, and that the benefits were disproportionately large among heavy multimedia multitaskers.  And research published earlier this year suggests that the long-term attentional benefits of regular mindfulness practice may be even more substantial than previously thought.

“Doctors rely heavily on faxes in both routine and high-stakes situations. According to Vox, one industry analyst estimates that 75 percent all of all medical communications still happen by fax. Occasionally, news outlets describe this phenomenon, mostly as human-interest stories: “Medical Students Flummoxed by Fax Machines” or “Med Students Are Puzzled When Forced to Use This Ancient Technology.” Despite confusion and frustration, though, the business of faxing continues on. Part of this has to do with an interpretation of a clause in hipaa, a U.S. health-privacy law, which requires health providers to take reasonable steps to safeguard patient information. Because this rule explicitly mentions fax and not email, some providers interpret the law to mean that records must go by fax.

A row of fax machinesDADO RUVIC / REUTERS

That habit dies hard. A start-up called PatientBank, which allowed users to share and receive medical records digitally, shut down in January, partly because weaning hospitals from fax proved too difficult. Paul Fletcher-Hill, a PatientBank co-founder, told me that one reason hospitals cited for their continued dependency was security: Many believed that hacking computer systems were easier to hack than fax machines—and that computer hacks were more damaging.

“There’s a perception that digital systems are easily hackable, and it’s true that many hospitals have struggled with ransomware attacks recently,” he said. There’s some truth to the claim that fax is more secure, in the sense that even if a signal is intercepted—which is very possible—compromising a single transmission would be less severe than hacking an entire system of digital records. So while fax may be more vulnerable in individual instances, in the aggregate, it may be more secure..”

“When American engineers started adding bike lanes to American streets about a decade ago, they changed the model, creating a “protected” bicycle lane once misleadingly called “the Copenhagen lane.”

CreditCreditTop: Photo by John Massengale; Bottom: Rendering by Gabrielle Stroik Johnson; Design by Massengale & Co LLC

In Copenhagen, wide cycle lanes on both sides of the street buffer equally wide sidewalks from traffic.CreditFrancis Dean/Corbis, via Getty Images


We see examples on many Manhattan avenues, with parked cars sitting awkwardly between moving traffic and grossly striped bike lanes. Every planner and urban designer I’ve talked to in Denmark and the Netherlands says their countries would never build such ugly, over-engineered streets, which diminish the pedestrian experience and give high priority to traffic flow at 35 m.p.h. and above.”

HQ2 Is Only Part of the Story of Big-Tech Expansion

“When word got out that Amazon is going to split its HQ2 between New York City and greater Washington, D.C., as the company made official today, many saw it as evidence of the widening gap between America’s coastal superstar cities and the heartland. Amazon is expanding from Seattle, a successful tech hub on the West Coast, to the world’s leading global city (New York) and the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth (Washington), both of which sit on the East Coast Acela corridor, equivalent to one of the world’s largest economies. With Google planning yet another expansion in New York, here is another example of winner-take-all urbanism.

While it is true that the geography of big tech reflects a winner-take-all pattern, not everything follows the shift of Amazon and Google to East Coast superstar cities. Indeed, tech in San Francisco may be reaching a saturation point as many of its big firms appear to be heading elsewhere, including some smaller, “rise-of-the-rest”locations.”

World’s Biggest Companies Plan to Get Down With WeWork Effect

“The biggest employers on the planet see a future filled with free beer and new age motivational posters. Their offices will need to catch up.

WeWork co-working space in London Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

After WeWork Cos reinvented the office experience for freelancers and start-ups, large businesses see their use of flexible space rocketing over the next three years. More than half of them expect the non-traditional space to account for at least a fifth of the total compared with about 5 percent now.

“WeWork has changed the narrative around corporate real estate,” said Lee Elliot, a CRE trends researcher. “As well as seeking more flexibility, big businesses will increasingly look for “amenity-rich environments that help their employees with the challenges of modern work.”

The shift presents a major challenge to the world’s biggest landlords, which have traditionally focused on securing long-term leases to maximize the value of buildings and reduce the risk of vacancies. In London, landlords including British Land Co., Great Portland Estates Plc and the Crown Estate Ltd. have begun using some of their buildings as flexible spaces in response to changing demand.”

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Ken’s Ten Trends; The Latest on Corporate Workplaces

“We are planning spaces now for those who are in high school” – David Kamen, Chairman of CoreNet Global, in a preview of the Future Forward 2025 report

I recently returned from the confab of all things corporate real estate – the 2018 edition of the CoreNet Global Summit, which occurred in Boston. The theme, “What’s Next? Exploiting Uncertainty,” certainly summarized the feeling of many of the 3,000 plus attendees. The U.S. economy is robust, and real estate types are super busy finding sit/stand desks for all those butts. However, the fears of something bad in the future are gathering like clouds on a summer day. “Winter is coming, better prepare now,” said one CRE executive.

At the conference, I listened carefully and took copious notes. Below is my attempt to boil it all down into 10 trends:

David Kamen, Chairman of CoreNet Global

  1. Coworking becomes legit in corporate America– multiple CRE executives at major companies told me they are going to make some portion of their portfolios into a co working environment. The coworking craze is rapidly moving beyond the small, independent jobbers and into the mainstream. Over the next five years, corporate real estate professionals are set to dramatically increase their use of coworking spaces to house employees, according to a survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield at the CoreNet Global Summit. The results so far, indicate companies utilizing co working have doubled over the past two years. When asked what percentage of a global workforce use or will use co working on a regular basis, respondents said 11% are using today, 17% in two years and nearly 25% in five years. The survey also revealed that 75% of those polled said the main benefit of utilizing coworking was the ability to ramp up or down a corporate real estate portfolio.
  2. White label coworking will come roaring out of the gates in 2019– private label offerings from landlords, service providers of all kinds and others will flood the market. The market is reacting in lockstep to what the existing competitors have created – and the profits realized. However, one of the challenges to these newcomers is the ability to offer flexibility to users. Cool coffee and free beer are part of the allure to those who occupy the spaces, but variable commitment periods are what makes CFOs smile.
  3. Lili pads and flexibility are what occupiers are jumping to – Speaking of the happy CFOs, with so much uncertainty in the economy (either up or down) leadership at some of the world’s largest users of space are seeing shorter-term commitments/management agreements and are willing to pay more to have the option to grow or go.The ideal lili pad could be a spec suite in a building, but with a short and highly flexible lease term.
  4. Work “how” not work “place”– Happiness in the workplace has to do with the ability to make choices regarding where you physically work in the office. The ability to choose to perform your work in different environments increases retention and overall satisfaction, according to surveys. As my friend Bryan Berthold, Managing Director of Workplace Strategy at Cushman & Wakefield says, “I didn’t take away your office. I gave you a building.”
  5. Want to come work here? –  I also saw in stark relief what we have all likely experienced in the current environment: labor rules the world. While some companies are locating on the beaten path in major cities, others are pivoting to lower-cost opportunities. “More arbitrage opportunities (exists) than ever before,” said David C. Smith, Vice President, Americas Head of Occupier Research for Cushman & Wakefield. “Growing educated workforce in secondary and even tertiary cities allow companies to keep their gateway offices and expand new departments in cities like Nashville, Boise, Phoenix, Charlotte, etc.” Whatever the location, there are still better and worse places to be (sub-markets and building types.) The fact of the matter is corporate America is scrambling to find someone – anyone – who can come aboard and work on the latest project the sales team just closed.

    Steve Quick, CEO of Global Occupier Services at Cushman & Wakefield

  6. Engagement is the new KPI– Employees want to be inspired by work that matters. Millennial workers seem to be asking in lockstep, “What are we trying to accomplish?” Corporate real estate leaders are trying to deliver spaces that support and emphasize the mission of the work occurring in the place. Cushman & Wakefield’s Berthold says the workplace, “Should be authentic, encourage innovation (and) should be a place where long-term friendships are fostered. Paramount to the needs of this group is that work is something to experience…the richness of leading a life where one’s work is as rewarding as one’s play is not your father’s office. It is your daughter’s.”
  7. Campsites and Open Houses* define an era of corporate openness to the community. A Campsite can occur when two companies are working on a large project together. Instead of Skyping, one company will send a team to the other to embed for 90 or 120 days. Culturally, teams can work together better by being in the same place for an extended period. Open House describes a scenario where corporates are opening up their campuses to the community. A great example of the phenomena is NCR’s HQ in Atlanta, which has a classroom in its lobby. The room can be reserved by anyone in the community, including Georgia Tech professors. In an Open House, CRE executives are attempting to build community relations and also to have potential new workers see their culture.
  8. This is the golden age of PropTech(but humans will continue to be needed.) One example of the burgeoning property technology market is machine learning for a design perspective in which we move away from 2D plans to building rich data models. Also, high volume, high repetition tasks like financial analysis will be automated. The organizers of the conference programmed some fascinating sessions on AI and automation that took advantage of proximity to some of the world’s leading thinkers on the subject. In Boston, you can find a lot of very smart human beings who can talk about smart machines. I think technology will assist us in making better decisions and absolutely make us more efficient. In the short term, however, I don’t think Siri will replace a broker, end user or landlord. When it comes to large, game changing decisions, people still want to deal with people – supported by great technology.
  9. The digital natives known as Gen Z will change the workplace again. Cristina Banks, PhD, director of the UC Berkeley Center for Healthy WorkPlaces, presented her research on 400 respondents who are Gen Z. Here is a summary of who they are: Born between 1996 and 2010 (oldest just turning 23) they are 64.6 million people or 20% of the U.S. population.

Some of the traits she observed:

    • Tight benching is not what Gen Z’s want – they do want lots of sunlight and portable desks in the workplace
    • Want a sense of place and connection to natural light in this digital world
    • This group will be financially conservative – they watched their parents suffer through 2009. They are also highly motivated to be financially successful.
    • 100% wanted a human receptionist
    • Digital sophistication is valued but not at the expense of face-to-face interactions
    • They think about safety and security a lot (think school shootings)
    • Assigned seating will come back – “We want our own space and the ability to make it our own,” they said
    • Technology is assumed to be great and easy to use
    • Wellness and mobility are emerging, and they want an active work environment. “Bring your authentic self to work,” one said.
    • An egalitarian approach to office – everyone should have the same look and feel

In short, Dr. Banks said this generation “want’s it all,” their own safe, well lighted space but also the ability to be mobile at the same time.

  1. The office as a destination – the  amenity war rages on We have finally reached the point where leadership has to ask “pretty please will you come into the office?” Real estate directors are taking keen notice of the newest available and refreshed product. Developers of new office assets are striving to build or adapt “authentic” buildings that consist of “real” materials like wood and often have a historical connection, in an attempt to market to those end-user leaders. Also, we are at a level of hyper convenience and comfort today, in part to compete with the coworking providers. The amenities go well beyond a fitness center and include robust recreational areas, food and beer, concierge services, pet and child care, and curated gardens to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. In short, there is a competition to see who can make the workplace feel most like home (please keep your shoes on there, mister.)

To sum it all up, there seems to be uncertainty around the corner, but the economy is super-duper just now. Real estate leaders report that their CFOs aren’t so much worried about cutting cost as “making the right investments” for their workforce. Workers are demanding a lot these days, and companies are willing to do what it takes to keep them happy.

Would you pass the almond milk, please?

Campsites and Open House concepts were first discussed in an HBR article entitled “Why Companies Are Creating Their Own Coworking Spaces published 9/24/2018

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

November 5th, 2018

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology,

Credit: iStock

management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

“Amazon and its planned 50,000 employees will also strain infrastructure. Home prices in Seattle have risen faster than anywhere in the United States except San Francisco since the Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-

Shiller home price indexes began tracking real estate values 18 years ago. It’s difficult to see how New Jersey could afford to spend lavishly on Amazon when the state a few years ago canceled a multi-billion-dollar overhaul of a critical century-old train link to New York City.

Losers won’t have those worries, and many will get a boost from Amazon anyway.

Cities hoping to host Amazon’s HQ2 might still benefit from the company even if they lose the contest. CreditCreditLindsey Wasson/Reuters

According to the company’s figures, it has invested more than $4 billion and taken on more than 5,000 employees in New Jersey alone between 2011 and 2017, which is roughly half the time span of the promised HQ2 development. Over the same period, Virginia secured $29 billion of investment and over 8,500 jobs from Amazon. Even Tennessee, which is home to the finalist city of Nashville, has received more than $5 billion of investment and 6,500 jobs.”


Digital Natives Go Physical



6 Ways You Can Command A Room Without Saying A Word

When you have the floor to speak, you have the opportunity to command the room. You can command the room and lead even when you are not speaking. Follow these six nonverbal acts to establish your executive presence:

How One Hospital Improved Patient Safety in 10 Minutes a Day


Most modern health care improvements seem to involve expensive technology and an uncomfortable amount of change management. But clinical and nonclinical staff at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital have improved patient care and raised staff morale at a very modest cost: 10 minutes a day and a special deck of cards.

Members of the hospital’s design thinking team were inspired by something they saw when they boarded a KLM Airline flight: During a pre-flight huddle of the cabin crew, team members introduced each other and then asked each other two questions on flight safety.

When they got back to Rotterdam Eye Hospital, the managers asked themselves why couldn’t they add a similar feature to their own “team-start” huddles? After all, in some ways, the situations were similar: A group whose members may not have worked together before must form a close-knit team quickly and execute their duties in a way that meets the organization’s guidelines to the letter.”

City in a City: The 63,000 People Who Run The World’s Busiest Airport

“The Atlanta airport is one of the reasons UPS moved its corporate headquarters to Atlanta from Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1990,” says Dan McMackin of UPS. “The fact that we can make hundreds of direct international flights was a major contributing factor in our choice of Atlanta as the location of our global headquarters.”

But the airport also offers something simpler and more direct: jobs for more than 63,000 employees, which helps support a thriving middle class in and around the city. “Work at [the airport] makes mortgage payments and college tuition payments possible,” says Andrew Gobeil from the airport’s office of policy and communications.”


Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

October 29th, 2018

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

Credit: iStock

How to Mitigate Rising Construction Materials Costs

“Construction costs are increasing rapidly. Some developers have said that total construction costs are up 30% over last year. A lot is contributing to the rising construction price tag, but a labor shortage and rising materials prices are among the biggest drivers. Now, trade tariffs on steel and lumber are putting more pressure on construction costs. While there is little developers can do to curb these increases, implementing materials management technology is one way to offset it..”

The Amazon Selling Machine

A computer screen showing Amazon's Australia homepageQUINNROONEY / GETTY

“What if there were a company that knew what you wanted to buy before you did? What if it made shopping recommendations that tapped into your deepest desires? Better yet, what if it then made buying completely seamless? Would you ever stop shopping?

Amazon shareholders may like the answers to those questions. The company that revolutionized the way we buy has now gotten serious about selling the ads that tell us what to buy in the first place. It is selling advertising on, encouraging brands to create Alexa “skills” so they can market to people when they’re at home, and putting targeted ads on the main screens of its Amazon Kindles, tablets, and televisions. And it’s attracting money that brands used to spend on Facebook and Google.” 

Jeff Bezos’s Morning Routine Is the Opposite of Most Productivity Advice. Maybe Yours Should Be Too

Jeff Bezos
CREDIT: Getty Images

“Elon Musk seems to get most of his sleep under his desk. Richard Branson recommends getting up at 5 a.m. Apple’s Tim Cook takes being an early riser even further, getting up at the ungodly hour of 3:45 a.m. And once these and other titans of industry are up, they’re usually busy with productivity-boosting activities like exercise, journaling, and meditation, reports time-use expert Laura Vanderkam.

Not Jeff Bezos.

As you can see in the interview below (hat tip to Signal v. Noise), he insists on a full night’s sleep and spends his leisurely mornings … puttering? Yes, that’s right. The world’s richest man skips heroic productivity rituals for breakfast with his kids and a slow morning warm up. He doesn’t get fully up to speed mentally until 10 a.m.’

What I Learned About Life at My 30th College Reunion

Though we all went to the same school, and Harvard’s name likely opened doors for many of us, at the end of the day—or at the end of 30 years since graduation, in this case—what was so fascinating about meeting up with my own richly diverse class during reunion was that no matter our original background, no matter our current income or skin color or struggles or religion or health or career path or family structure, the common threads running through our lives had less to do with Harvard and more with the pressing issues of being human.

Life does this. To everyone. No matter if or where they go to college. At a certain point midway on the timeline of one’s finite existence, the differences between people that stood out in youth take a backseat to similarities, with that mother of all universal themes—a sudden coming to grips with mortality—being the most salient. Not that this is an exhaustive list, but here are 30 simple shared truths I discovered at my 30th reunion of Harvard’s class of 1988.”

Credit Lars Leetaru

“With fares, tips, and bonuses factored in, I average around $20 an hour and give around 75 rides per week,” said Jon Sycamore, a driver in Salt Lake City who also runs a real estate business. “If you remove tips, it drops to around $15 an hour.” By comparison, Salt Lake City’s living wage is $11.48 an hour for a single adult and $24.12 an hour for a single adult with a child.


Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!

Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

October 22nd, 2018

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four “corners:” corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

How This Millennial Came To Realize The Value Of Old-School Management

“I’ve worked in some pretty challenging environments in the past, ranging from mind-numbingly boring to outright hostile. Back then, I promised myself that if I ever had my own company, it would be different.

I kept that promise to myself once I started BodeTree, working hard to create a progressive, modern workplace for my team. My goal was to foster an environment where people were free from micromanagement and encouraged to find creative solutions to difficult problems.

The hope was that my Laissez-Faire management style would bring out the best in my team and enable them to thrive. I was arrogant enough to scoff at the ideas of “old-school” managers, content with my morally-superior approach.

My progressive approach ended up causing more problems than I ever expected. Work didn’t get done, conflicts arose between team members, and frustration grew on all sides.

In dealing with these challenges, I came to a startling conclusion: “old-school” management techniques not only work; they’re vital to the success of an organization.

Trust, but verify

One of my favorite quotes comes from President Reagan, in response to dealing with the Soviets. “Trust but verify,” was his mantra. In the past, I’ve been heavy on the trust, but far too light on the “verify” aspect of that equation.

What Is the Future of Getting Kids to Soccer Practice?

“Each company in the industry tends to pursue a similar group of people: well-off families with two time-starved working parents and multiple overbooked children. “Kids can make it on time to the very best rowing practice, math tutoring, and fencing class,” says Kate Soskil, the marketing manager of the Massachusetts-based Sheprd, as she described the company’s target customers, “and Mom/Dad can stay late at the office for that important meeting that’s running over.” Juliette Kayyem, the CEO of Zemcar, told me that “divorced dads are actually a big customer base for us.”

If only children were allowed to drive, they could get from home to school to piano lessons and back home again without their parents’ help. Alas, they are not.

These companies are effectively trying to replace carpools and school buses, and the majority of them were launched in the past two to five years. Arun Sundararajan, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and the author of The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism, says he attributes the boomlet to the rapid rise of Uber and Lyft during that time: Those two companies proved the viability of on-demand rides, but since their terms of service prohibited minors from riding unaccompanied, there was room for kid-specific firms to claim some of the market. In carving out this niche, these companies have been decidedly less cutthroat in their business practices, and because so many of them seek drivers with professional caregiving experience, many of those drivers are women.” 

“ makes sense to tip your driver because they are providing a personal service which involves safety and comfort, and our cultural norm is to tip those who provide this kind of service. She pointed out that this norm will vary in overseas markets. “In Europe the tipping expectations would be lower, and many passengers would simply ’round up’ the bill. And don’t even think about tipping any driver in Japan — that would be considered rude,” she said.

Both Uber and Lyft limit their tip amount to 200 percent. So you wouldn’t be able to leave a $15 tip for your $5 Uber ride if you were feeling extra generous — at least not on the app. The companies put a ceiling on this to keep passengers from accidentally adding an extra zero and overtipping.

Whether you give your driver cash or just tip through the app, they receive 100 percent of the tip; Uber, Lyft, Gett and Via don’t take a cut. Generally, drivers are just happy to get a tip, Mr. Helling said, and many don’t have a preference for cash versus tipping directly in the app. Still, if you have the cash on hand, it can’t hurt to ask.”

How To Invest Your $1.6 Billion Mega Millions Winnings

“You still couldn’t buy an NFL team or an NBA franchise. Those are reserved for the multi-billionaires, not somebody who has a mere $687 million. Nonetheless, you could still afford most of life’s extravagances. Once you have shared the wealth with family members and your favorite charities, you would eventually have to get down to the business of investing your windfall. Don’t worry; there would be plenty advisors knocking at your door with all sorts of ideas. Help is only a 1% fee away, after all. But if you are more of DIY investor (which most likely would change with $687 million to your name), here are a few suggestions to get you started.”

This is the Easiest Way to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out

“There’s a simple solution to this–customize your headline. Instead of meekly recording your title and company, try following the tried-and-true strategy of describing what you do and who you help. This is your elevator pitch in 120 characters.”

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!