What We Learned at MIPIM 2019

When it comes to real estate, MIPIM is an unmissable annual highlight — bringing the world’s most influential players together on the French Riviera for four days of keynotes, conversations, trend forecasting, and, of course, exorbitant amounts of wine and cheese.

We set up shop at the Palais des Festivals to talk about the future of the workplace, why flexibility is key, and what’s on the horizon for Knotel.

In a MIPIM interview with Property Week, Chairman and Co-founder Edward Shenderovich talked about expanding Knotel’s presence in London by the end of 2019. “London is an easy market for us,” he said. “It has one of the largest flexible office markets in the world. People understand what we do, and they understand who our customers are.”

Edward also spoke on a panel titled “Workplaces of the Future,” along with Marc Simon, Head of Real Estate & Facilities at Sanofi, Vanessa Butz, CEO of District Technologies, and Ziona Strelitz, founder of ZZA Responsive User Environments. Here are some of the key themes that emerged from their discussion:

It’s All About the People

Ultimately, the workplace is a means to an end, which means we should really be focused on the people doing the work. Thankfully, the realization that people matter is growing industry-wide, which means the workplace needs to remain flexible. This is also relevant to consumers, of course, and the marked emphasis on measuring customer satisfaction to inform decisions.

Flexibility Goes Beyond the Office

Flexibility in the workplace is about more than just the office. It also includes the capacity to let people decide how and where they want to work, which means that we need to educate managers about different work modes and put more trust in people. Flexibility also breeds flexibility — the more you think flexibly, the more you see potential.

Offices Are Not the Only Workplaces to Consider

We can only benefit from opening up our perspectives and looking at productivity across spectrums, bringing the experience of other industries to bear in the offices we’re building. There is an opportunity to think more expansively of what the workplace might represent. From virtual courts to telemedicine, there are significant paradigm shifts happening across global industries. It’s important to take these initiatives as well as changes in work processes outside of your sector seriously — you might get a brilliant idea or a preview of changes that will affect you.

Future Proofing is Important

As organisms, we are wired to anticipate the future in an attempt to minimize any problems that might arise from being unprepared. It’s a good way to build a competitive advantage, too. It’s also important to explore how technology like AI, VR, and AR, can be utilized to make the workplace of the future happier and more productive.

If you missed us at MIPIM and want to talk more in-depth about any of these topics, contact us.