Juniper Square Debuts Digital-first, Hybrid Workplace Model, A First Mover Within CRE Industry

Leading commercial real estate tech company moves headquarters to the cloud, ‘6  mm    maintains physical footprint in San Francisco and Austin to meet demands of today’s diverse workforce; attract new generation of talent to country’s second-largest capital market

 Juniper Square, the leading provider of investment management solutions for commercial real estate (CRE), today announced its adoption of a new digital-first, hybrid workplace model that safeguards its ability to retain and attract top talent by addressing employee demands for increased flexibility and well-being, in addition to expanding its talent pool nationally. In lieu of a central headquarters, Juniper Square has reimagined its workplace into three hubs – or clusters of employees – with physical offices in San Francisco and Austin, and a third hub in the cloud. Leadership is divided across the three hubs with CEO and co-founder Alex Robinson serving as the general manager of the cloud hub. Consistent with Juniper Square’s category leadership in technology innovation, the company’s new workplace strategy presents one of CRE’s first actionable case studies in innovating for its future workforce, where almost one-third (31%) of the industry has made little-to-no progress in modernizing HR processes, technology or capabilities in the past 10 years, according to Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital Trends survey.

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“We founded Juniper Square with the vision to make CRE more efficient, transparent and accessible for the benefit of everyone – and that includes its workforce, which employs well over 3 million people in the United States,” says CEO and co-founder Robinson. “Our objective in sharing Juniper Square’s workplace case study is so the industry can benefit from our research, insights and steps we have taken as CRE starts embracing a critical workforce evolution.”

Key research: Employees want flexibility

Juniper Square surveyed more than 200 of its employees who have been working remotely since March 2020 to understand the benefits and challenges of remote work and their preferences moving forward. Nearly 80% of employees said they are both productive and personally fulfilled thanks to the flexibility and added time to pursue hobbies, focus on health and wellness and spend time with family. Yet, almost half (48%) would still prefer to work in the office a few days per week. Younger employees value the social interaction; those with families like working with fewer distractions; and the majority feel that in-person interaction is essential to building (78%) and maintaining (52%) relationships.

More than two-thirds (70%) of Juniper Square’s employees temporarily or permanently relocated during the pandemic, and 65% feel it’s important to maintain their ability to work outside of San Francisco and Austin. To meet the future demand of its rapidly growing, distributed workforce, Juniper Square plans to open offices in cities where large clusters of employees reside.

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“The pandemic opened our eyes to the immeasurable value and benefit of remote working, and gave us a chance to reimagine the traditional workplace model in ways that encourage flexibility and work-life balance,” says Robinson. “It is possible to create a win-win situation where employees make the best choices for themselves and their families, and our company benefits from higher productivity, happier people and the expanded ability to recruit talent far and wide.”

Juniper Square’s solution: A digital-first, hybrid workplace

Juniper Square’s workplace strategy is designed to retain the benefits of both remote and in-person work and to address current challenges. When communicating and collaborating, the company thinks “digital-first” to level the playing field for remote employees and to ensure all employees have access to information regardless of location. To make synchronous collaboration easier, all employees are expected to be available during a set of common hours. Cloud employees will travel quarterly for team building and in-person collaboration, as well as be encouraged to meet-up with their colleagues who live nearby.

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To help employees stay productive while working at home, Juniper Square provides a standard work set-up for use in their home office, a $150 monthly stipend to cover internet and other home office costs, and a $500 allowance to purchase additional items. Looking ahead, Juniper Square is redesigning its office spaces and hiring a new director of workplace design who will be responsible for ensuring that its offices provide a collaborative, safe place for employees to work and that the hubs are connected and function well together.

The response: Where employees are choosing to work

After the new workplace plan was shared internally, 45% of Juniper Square’s employees elected to work in the cloud permanently, representing its largest hub. Following, 38% of employees selected the San Francisco hub and 17% of employees selected the Austin hub. Interestingly, of employees residing in San Francisco, 20% elected to be based in the cloud, while 18% of those living in the Austin area chose to remain in the cloud. By contrast, in 2019, less than 20% of Americans reported working remotely even some of the time.

As employers across the country consider what it will mean for them to return to the office post-pandemic, Juniper Square is committed to sharing insights into their transition on their company blog to benefit owners and operators of commercial real estate, most notably in the office sector.

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