Happy Healthy Offices 2019 Technology panel. L-R: Tica Hessing, Bruce Duyshart, Kellie Payne, and Craig Rodgers

We were packed to the rafters yesterday (Wednesday) for our half day event on Happy Healthy Offices.

Only six ticket holders were unavoidably detained and each of those had a doctor’s certificate or equivalent. One senior architect sent her staff to take notes until she could get there.

Big thanks to the very kind staff from our hosts Corrs Chambers Westgarth who made everyone comfortable.

And the audience feedback so far? Fabulous: best event, great content, really interesting.

The investor inquisition came in for special praise. This regular session at our events is always a highlight with its sharply focused query on where investors are putting their money and why.

This year panel comprised Liam Timms from Lendlease; Paul Edwards of Mirvac; and Marcus Hanlon of ISPT.

Each of the three revealed some surprisingly long term thinking in what’s considered tenant value these days.

Tenants, it seems, are no longer elements in a yield equation that gives certainty and security to institutional owners on a tight 5 + 5 + 5 contractual basis covering space and rent.

Value is now verging into areas not so easy to quantify; more long term and non-material. Things such as emotional safety, happiness and health.

It’s possible much of this comes from the changing universe of a change in business practices such as the gig economy and drive to greater flexibility. But on close inspection, it’s also possible some of these changes are derived by the closer inspection we’ve given the natural environment in recent years – since we became aware it might one day soon turn against us, if we don’t treat it with respect.

If there is an underlying theme to the changing nature of real estate it’s that bricks and mortar are not enough to protect us from climate change. And that providing great physical spaces is not enough to make a business successful. What else does the staff want to be happy and healthy?

The result is the obvious need to work with the far more challenging non-material world of feelings, emotions and the social and psychological factors that drive our humanity.

These are areas that all our speakers touched on or focused on.

All the speakers were fantastic (as always). It seems they understand that we absolutely would love them to speak freely, spill the beans and tell it as they see it (or think it).

They get that we want tougher, grittier, more meaningful content. The kind of hard information and insights you don’t get in the glossy virtual mags nor the tightly controlled media releases that too often try to pass for actual news content.

In the end though it’s clear that how well we meet audience expectations is entirely in the hands of the special alchemy created on the day – a blend of talented panellists and speakers, their sense of urgency for change and improvement in their area of influence and their willingness to yield to the audience zeitgeist and speak freely among like-minded people.

Thing is that HHO19 was the kind of event that galvanises action as people gaze around the room and realise they are not alone. That they are indeed among like-minded people and that these people are really quite a powerful little collective, able to leap very tall buildings and maybe if necessary, bring them down to size.

We’re planning a full report of the proceedings and we are not going to risk too many spoilers here.

  • A note on diversity – We tried, we really did, and had several high profile women busy on other commitments. We are now collating a list for future reference. 

Thanks to all!

Special thanks to our wonderful MC Ben Peacock from Republic of Everyone who set the usual relaxed but sharply intelligent pace with his grasp of this industry’s drivers.

Huge thanks to all our panellists listed below.

And huge thanks too to our wonderful sponsors who make these events possible:

Lead – Zenith Interiors

Supporting – CETEC and Floth

Venue – Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Speakers and panellists

Kellie Payne, director, Bates Smart

Adam Garnys, principal consultant strategy, CETEC

Craig Rodgers, innovation lead, office, Charter Hall

Tica Hessing, human geographer and tenant advisor, Cushman & Wakefield

Tone Wheeler, director, principal, Environa

Anthony Marklund, ESD principal, Floth

Marcus Hanlon, executive general manager, property operations and service strategy, ISPT

Liam Timms, fund manager International Towers, Lendlease

Bruce Duyshart, director, Meld Strategies

Paul Edwards, general manager, workplace experiences, Mirvac

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