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News release

Austin, TX

Is the Right Workplace the Best Way to Recruit Top Tech Talent?

Five steps to create a great place to work and win the war for talent

​AUSTIN, Feb. 27, 2014 — At the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, top tech companies will debate critical issues impacting their industry and high on their list is the war for tech talent. In this battle, the workplace is one weapon that CEOs are using to entice talent by empowering them to work wherever and whenever.

“Attracting and retaining top talent is an all-hands-on-deck battle requiring collaboration from every member of a technology firm’s leadership,” said Greg Matter, JLL Vice President and leader of the firm’s national high technology brokerage group. “The environment where companies house their employees used to be a real estate decision, but now there are new executive constituents influencing a company’s use of real estate including IT, HR, Procurement, and even travel departments are working together to define productive work environments.”

Matter and his team of technology real estate experts at JLL have identified five steps tech firms can use to leverage real estate to attract top talent:

1. Open satellite offices in new cities where the talent wants to live, work and play. While Silicon Valley will continue to represent the central axis of the global tech industry, rapidly-growing tech companies must access multiple talent pools to support the rapid growth in today’s market. JLL’s national ranking of top tech cities highlights locations where industry giants and fast-growing mid-sized companies are putting a stake in the ground.  The list features mature tech markets like San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Boston, as well as emerging locations like Atlanta, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis.  The ranking considers high-tech employment, share of U.S. venture capital funding, intellectual capital and innovation.

“If you’re in growth mode, tech company recruitment goals are hard to reach from a single location, even Silicon Valley,” Matter says. “While mobile workers can work from anywhere, having a base is important.  Real estate is more than just shelter—it’s part of an employer’s brand, and an influential part of an employee’s identity and well-being.”

2. Create an office that employees look forward to visiting. Sound obvious?  Not really. Many tech firms are stuck in ‘cube farms’ until their leadership invests in new workplace environments. In a recent CoreNet Global action memo authored by JLL workplace strategist Steve Hargis, real estate leaders from technology giants confirm that investments in new workplaces pay off. The memo quotes Yahoo’s Julie Ford-Tempesta, Senior Director, Real Estate & Workplace, who said, “Recent renovations have densified the work space, co-locating teams in a more intimate, transparent environment focused on collaboration and innovation. The workplace has become a catalyst for energy and buzz.”

3. Let culture, not cubicles, drive the bus. Shaping corporate culture through workplace destinations can protect the organization’s cultural identity and sense of community. Great workplaces embrace paradoxes, balancing concentration spaces with collaboration areas, formal meeting spaces with social interaction, and security with accessibility.  

“If workplaces are dull, monotonous and uninspiring, people won’t want to come to the office, and consequently may balk at policies that require face time,” observes Hargis in the CoreNet Global action memo. “By creating environments where people want to work, employee satisfaction rises, turnover drops and behaviors change—in turn driving productivity and revenue.” 

4. Offer travel Itineraries—now featuring office space. Care for an office with your flight and hotel room?  With the consumerization of space in full swing, fully connected offices are available for mobile workers in most major cities—sometimes through tech companies themselves, or through services like LiquidSpace offering offices “on the fly.”  Tech companies in the future will be able to simply book business travel, then empower employees to add an office-for-a-day to the flight and hotel booking. In large companies, this means that the corporate travel department has become a major stakeholder in creating workplace solutions that reflect mobile culture.  

“Today’s mobile culture has spawned two powerful change masters – mobility and choice, putting people in charge,” observes Mark Gilbreath, CEO of LiquidSpace and a presenter at SXSW 2014.  “Work has morphed, and so has the workplace.  We can work anywhere, and we do.  With this cultural shift, Corporate Travel departments become a new key partner, supplying not just a bed, but now productive places to work, wherever, whenever.”

5. Proworking: better options mean less conference calls from the coffee shop. As companies mature in their approach to mobile work, they are offering more productive, private and secure options than home offices or coffee shops. This has climbed the agenda for many companies in the tech sector.
 Innovating to solve this challenge, companies are radically shifting the way they view space, by empowering employees with options both leased by the company—and sometimes in third-party locations offered as part of flexible work networks.  Many are adapting various forms of a proworking approach—that is, a real estate strategy focused on providing productive environments wherever employees need to be, personally and professionally. JLL’s Space ExchangeTM service allows corporations to actively manage employee office location choices – while offering secure workplace options in multiple locations both within and beyond their own corporate real estate portfolios.

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $4.0 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 3.0 billion square feet. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $47.6 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit