The trend for quiet quitting is relevant in all sorts of industries, and real estate is especially susceptible to the impact that the aftermath of the pandemic has had on the job market.
Understanding this relationship is vital if you work in real estate, or are simply curious about whether this will influence your own life in some way as an employer or an employee. So let’s unpick the realities faced by this sector right now to see where things stand.
Shortages elsewhere hit real estate hardest
Any business with a bricks and mortar presence contributes to the real estate market, and so with millions of employees resigning on a monthly basis, the knock on effect of issues elsewhere all seep through to the property ecosystem.
It’s hard to justify starting new commercial developments if there are questions over whether the finished building will even generate enough demand from tenanted businesses to fill it. Then there are the ongoing maintenance requirements, which have to be kept up with regardless of whether or not a premises is fully occupied.
This is further complicated by the fact that inflation and rising rates are contributing to often unaffordable rents in prime positions, meaning businesses are being squeezed at both ends.
Data-driven decision making is crucial
Of course many thousands of commercial real estate projects are still going ahead across the country and around the world. And because of the quiet quitting trend, as well as other economic and political circumstances, cost efficiency is key to their viability.
That’s where platforms offered by the likes of Northspyre enter the frame. Managing construction projects from the first design proposals to the grand opening is easier when modern software is used to crunch the numbers and allow decision-makers to choose the path forward based on data insights, not educated guesses.
Data is also useful when extrapolating what employees want from modern workplaces. The quiet quitting trend is all about a lack of engagement, and if businesses want to stop suffering from shortages of skilled workers, they need to pay more attention to the demands and desires of contemporary team members.
Reframing responsibilities is necessary
The problem with trying to ‘solve’ quiet quitting by engaging employees more effectively is that it doesn’t necessarily address the core of the issue, and is more of a quick fix rather than a long term answer.
This trend is all to do with employees choosing to do no more than the minimum that’s required of them as part of their role. The upshot is that it reveals businesses have been effectively exploiting team members for years by placing additional expectations on their plate that go above and beyond their pay grade.
Workers realizing that going the extra mile doesn’t benefit anyone but their employer, and thus choosing to stick to the remit of their job, was inevitable at some point. Employers getting up in arms about this reveals just how reliant on that ‘extra mile’ of effort they were.
Construction has its own worker shortages to address
Even with the undeniable impact of quite quitting on commercial real estate projects from a practical and design perspective, there’s also the complication of the wider skills shortage in this industry.
There are often not enough workers to fill roles in construction operations, and companies in this sector are struggling to work out what they can do to attract more employees.
It’s partly down to perception. People see construction and real estate as being somewhat old fashioned, particularly in comparison with newer industries like tech, where digital technology is the way forward.
The reality is that construction tech has never been more impressive or all-encompassing. From AI-driven software to automated hardware and beyond, there’s so much to interest an audience of Millennial and Gen Z workers. It’s just a case of construction companies learning how to sell themselves on these assets.
There are also factors involved which are out of the hands of businesses, such as the ongoing issues with worker mobility in the wake of the pandemic. This is more a case of needing to be patient and anticipating that such disruption will ease in the months and years to come.
Efficiency is essential
It seems that there needs to be a cultural change within many businesses, so that the real estate sector does not have to contend with a steady decline in the number of commercial rentals that are viable.
Rewarding employees appropriately for the work they do, and recognizing their contribution in more than just words, will go some way to fixing the broken system.
Encouraging efficiency and empowering businesses to do more with the resources that they have at their disposal, thus soaking up some of the hurt from the worker shortage, should also be a priority.
The bottom line on quiet quitting and commercial real estate
In a sense, quiet quitting is similar to many other buzzwords created by the media. It’s a name that applies to a trend that analysts have identified, and in doing so it is imbued with a sense of meaning and coordinated intent that isn’t really there in practice.
The truth is that individual businesses have the power to fix employee engagement issues, and that the shouldn’t see this as some intergenerational struggle. Just listening to what employees have to say will go a long way.