The pandemic has accelerated changes in how work is performed, what the workforce expects and the role of the workplace. As the world’s preeminent real estate services firm, CBRE aims to lead our industry through these changes via our expert counsel and the example we set with our own real estate decisions.

With upcoming lease expirations in Southern California, we have a unique opportunity to pilot potential future solutions. Our Workplace team, which advises our clients on creating their Workplaces of the Future, recently conducted an intensive three-month project for CBRE’s own SoCal offices with a goal of creating a roadmap to the future. We are excited to share our biggest ideas from this process, and we hope this inspires others to join us in the journey of shaping the future workplace.

-Lew Horne, President, Pacific-Southwest

Our Process Engaged Various Levels of Our Workforce & Leadership, and We Generated Hundreds of Unique Ideas



Our 7 Favorite Ideas Highlight These Key Themes

Big Idea #1

Health & Well-Being

Incentivize and gamify participation in well-being programs via healthcare discounts, competitions, wearable tech, etc.

The world’s first WELL-Certified office was CBRE’s Downtown LA location completed in 2013, and since then we have remained dedicated to supporting our employees’ health and well-being through the workplaces we provide. We continue to challenge ourselves and our clients to innovate and support well-being through not only passive, architectural features but also active program and events-driven initiatives.

Health and Wellness

Read more about CBRE's recommendations for addressing health & well-being in the workplace in our article: Top 12 Priorities for Workplace Well-being.


Big Idea #2


Support the hybrid workforce with meeting room technology that enhances the feeling of being present while operating remotely.

We’ve likely all experienced the frustration of a “mixed presence” meeting, with some participants meeting in person and others joining virtually. Struggles with audio quality, room view, conversation flow, and information sharing are typical. Solving for these challenges will be key for a future of work that is more mobile and global.


There is a significant amount of technology disruption that will have a lasting impact on real estate. Learn more from CBRE’s technology experts at #TechCBRE.


Big Idea #3

Design & Aesthetics

Pursue a WOW factor–e.g., adaptive reuse, double volume space, amazing views, retail amenities, outdoor terrace, etc.

As more occupiers explore a choice-based approach to supporting remote work in the future, their goal will be to motivate rather than mandate employees to work on-site. Creating a functional environment is a necessity, but high-performing workplaces will also address emotional and human elements. In a real estate world often distracted by efficiency metrics, we shouldn’t forget the power of beautiful design to influence the office experience.

Design & Aesthetics

Did you know that CBRE’s LA North office was an adaptive reuse project? Learn more about its features in our video: CBRE Workplace 360: LA North – The Temple.


Big Idea #4


Empower a network of operations managers, concierges, and technology to provide a consistent and elevated employee and visitor experience.

Changing tenant expectations are driving a unique, hospitality inspired convergence in employee experience. The office, more than ever, must anticipate customer needs, provide comfort and flexibility and most importantly, differentiate in order to compete for occupancy against the allure and convenience of remote work.


CBRE’s Host offering provides a human-centered experience enhanced by technology to ensure that employees feel welcomed, cared for, and comfortable.


Big Idea #5

Culture & Community

Adopt Culture KPIs to measure success and a formal governance structure to manage and improve on culture initiatives.

Examples of culture-related KPIs (or “key performance indicators”) include employee engagement/satisfaction (e.g., Net Promoter Scores), company tenure and turnover rates and survey performance on questions around feeling invested in work, feeling part of a community or having friends at work.


Culture & Community

Change management is key to driving positive impacts on culture when new workplace strategies are explored. Learn more about CBRE’s Change Strategy & Implementation services from our Workplace team.


Big Idea #6


Utilize coworking spaces as an employee perk by giving people the option to touchdown at a location that may be better for their day or commute.

Central business districts, including the metros of Southern California, have a reputation for horrendous traffic, and commute times are a subject of great concern for employees. Granting access to a network of alternative office spaces can alleviate this problem and provide a home-away-from-home for employees who often travel to client sites across the region.

Idea 6


86% of recently surveyed occupiers plan to incorporate flex office space in their real estate strategies. Learn more on CBRE’s Agile Real Estate Knowledge Hub.


Big Idea #7

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Design for all people, including those with visible or invisible disabilities, neurodiverse individuals and all identities.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is vital to CBRE’s success as a global company and can be critically supported by creating a work environment that removes barriers and is actively welcoming. An inclusive workplace should strive to provide varied work settings and accessibility-enhancing technologies to reflect the spectrum of needs and preferences of a diverse workforce.


Diversity, Equity
& Inclusion

Do diversity initiatives make financial sense? CBRE’s Chief Diversity Officer, Tim Dismond, explains why the answer is a resounding “yes!” in this episode of CBRE’s podcast, The Weekly Take.


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