IREM Blogs

The Future of Work is Changing—Are You Ready?

January 05, 2019 | Denise Froemming

The future of work is one of today’s hottest topics, sparking conversations around the block and around the world about technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), automation and data visualization which, whether individually or together, are changing how we work, where we work and the competencies needed to be successful.

Staggering statistics supporting the trends impacting workplace change can be found in the Deloitte Report, “Future of Work—The People Imperative.”  The report, authored by John Bersin, a principal of Deloitte Consulting, brings to life the statistics underlying the trends.

Following are several of the key Bersin numbers:

  • 41 percent of companies have fully implemented or have made significant progress in adopting cognitive AI and robotics;
  • 50 percent are retraining workers to work side by side with machines; and
  • 67 percent of employees believe they must continuously reskill themselves to stay in their careers, while 58 percent believe they will have a new career within five years.

At the recent Matrix PM Expo property management conference in Toronto, a panel of industry leaders engaged in an interactive discussion examining some of the trends currently defining this new world of work, circling some of the same issues discussed by Bersin in the Deloitte report.  Among the topics of our real estate industry leaders were artificial intelligence, robots and the opportunities that can be seized to build more competitive, prosperous and inclusive organizations. 

The session was appropriately titled “The Evolution of Real Estate: Developing People and Transforming Organizations for the Future of Work.”  The panel was moderated by Micheline Bentley, senior manager of talent and business development for Matrix360, and included industry and tech experts Brad Keast from Dream Unlimited; Cheryl Gray, CPM, from QuadReal Property Group; Monika Jaroszonek from Ratio City; and Peter Altobelli from Yardi Canada. 

The panel discussed the importance of selecting partners carefully, being aware of the convergence between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), focusing on the need for reducing silos thereby increasing collaboration between organizational areas, and incorporating tenant experience into IT practices.

Cheryl Gray, IREM’s 2019 president-elect, highlighted that there is a virtual “awakening of the industry” and the need to keep going back to the problem we are trying to solve, with a focus on execution.  Cheryl iterated the importance of having an IT audit to identify gaps and know where you are at with cyber risks.  All panelists agreed that organizations need to create a culture that embraces knowledge sharing, provides opportunities to connect, asks staff what they need to be successful and offers training opportunities to enhance skill sets.   

One thing is for certain, the future of work requires new attitudes and behaviors founded on flexibility, collaboration, innovation and creativity. Above all, the ability to adapt to an environment of continuous change will be central to the success of our industry and its professionals.

About the Author
Denise Froemming, CAE, MBA, CPA, is CEO and Executive Vice President of IREM.


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