Job automation is projected to change work patterns and reduce office space demand

Corporate tenants will reduce their long term leases by 30 per cent over the next 20 years as automation replaces the need for humans to work in those spaces.

Computer software is also set to change many of the jobs that do remain, and company workforces will use less fulltime staff and more contingent workers that come in on a project basis.

The predictions come from real estate agency JLL’s Global Real Estate Trends report that says automation in Australia is still in its infancy but is set to expand.

The report says that around 9 per cent of current jobs are at high risk of being automated in the next 20 years and 25 per cent of jobs will change significantly.

Companies will enjoy a much-reduced outlay in their fixed real estate costs as a result but on the flipside will need to provide more flexible facilities that can handle the in-and-out nature of project work.

According to Rajiv Nagrath from JLL, companies will need to provide flexible offerings like WeWork and Servcorp and will need to embrace having their staff work in public spaces.

“There will be private space – wholesale, committed space that is a fixed cost to business,” he told Australian Financial Review.

“Then there’s the ‘privileged space’, which comes at a variable cost – the co-working side.”

“Then there’s the public space – the home, airport lounge, café – where it doesn’t cost them.”


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