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Are smart buildings the answer to increased employee satisfaction?

JLL report reveals how technology in the workplace can be key to workers’ engagement


SINGAPORE, 2 NOVEMBER 2016 – Smart buildings are the new frontier in talent recruitment and retention as employees become increasingly demanding when it comes to technology, according to a report from JLL, a professional services firm specialising in real estate. Rather than the passive, cubicle-bound workers of the past, today's employees are active consumers and expect a customised, tech-enabled experience that improves their comfort and connectivity.

"In this digitally enabled world, many of us don't need to come to the office to work – we can work from home, a café or even a park – so the office needs to offer something more," says Matt Clifford, Head of Energy and Sustainability Services, North Asia, JLL.

"Businesses are quickly recognising the importance of elevating employee experiences to attract top talent. Using smart technologies to create a comfortable and responsive environment can make a significant difference to employee satisfaction and productivity. These next-generation workplace technologies provide people with a direct feedback loop to connect directly with their environment, using personalised controls and eliminating the friction many people experience when operating within old-fashioned building systems."

"Now, for example, across Asia and in particular, China, our clients are using devices to monitor the air quality within their buildings to filter and purify the air. These smart devices are connected to the cloud to allow real time analysis and action," adds Mr Clifford.

Forward-looking building owners, tenants and managers are already realising the competitive advantages gained from smart building technologies. According to the report, buildings that don't have smart, connected systems are going to feel the impact, whether it be in terms of asset classification, valuation, rental rates, or even brand perception.

Smart buildings are quickly becoming a market differentiator as they tend to have lower energy usage and operating costs than buildings with legacy systems, which translates into greater returns and increased market value. Recent research shows that buildings perceived as energy efficient sell at a two to 17 percent premium over less advanced properties, attract eight to 35 percent higher rents, and achieve nine to 18 percent higher occupancy rates – reflecting an upward trend on the demand for modern and efficient facilities.

Says Mr Clifford: "Today's organisations are faced with a new reality: incorporate smart building technology into your business strategy, while right-sizing this technology for your needs – or risk potential obsolescence and forfeit your competitive advantage."

Register here to receive JLL's Smart Buildings report.

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About JLL

JLL (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. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 280 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $59.1 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit www.jll.com.

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with 34,000 employees operating in 92 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won 15 awards at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific in 2016 and was named number one real estate advisor in Asia at the 2015 Euromoney Real Estate Awards. www.ap.jll.com