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Q&A with Pembroke Real Estate Vice President, Head of Washington, Cory Saunders

08 November 2018

As an office worker in Australia, have you ever considered how different your working day would be if you lived and worked in a different country? What would your office be like? How would you go about your working day?

As an international real estate advisor, Pembroke Real Estate owns and manages properties across the globe, bringing international insights to the Australian market to deliver the refurbishment of the T&G Building.

We’ve tapped into Pembroke Real Estate Vice President and Head of Washington DC, Cory Saunders’ depth of knowledge to reveal some interesting differences between Australian and American workplaces.

Having been with the business for 11 years, Cory is responsible for managing Pembroke’s real estate investments in Washington, DC and San Francisco. He also has a unique insight into the office market in Japan, as he is responsible for providing strategic support to the firm’s Tokyo office. 

Here is what he had to say…

Tell us more about Pembroke’s global offering. How do Pembroke’s offices in the USA differ from other countries, such as Australia?

Pembroke Real Estate has an international presence in cities within the USA, Australia, Japan, Sweden, UK, Germany, Finland and Norway. With six offices worldwide, we combine global perspectives with strong local expertise to create what we like to call ‘thoughtful property’ – offices that respond to the specific needs of the workforce they house.

One of the major differences of Pembroke offices in the USA to those in Australia is the uptake in collaborative or ‘activity-based’ working and the popularity of wellness offerings. Australia in particular has seen a huge increase in collaborative working spaces and is ahead of the curve on promoting health and wellness in the workplace. As these trends pick up in the USA, we are looking to Australia to provide guidance and inspiration as we improve the amenities in our properties.

Can you tell us more about the specific trends and features you have seen in the USA versus Australia? What are the must-have facilities for offices in the different countries?

End-of-trip facilities are a growing trend worldwide, though demand really depends on the market, as we see it vary city-to-city, globally. In San Francisco, similar to Australia, the majority of tenants would expect end-of-trip facilities simply due to the composition of that city, and the fact that they live in a warmer climate and have the opportunity to walk or ride to work more often. On the other hand, in Washington, this is not usually expected in a workplace, as employees are more likely to drive or take public transport in the colder months. It’s really interesting how much climate can impact the workplace!

Workplace trends and desired workplace features also differ from city to city in the United States. For example in Washington, DC, a roof deck and a luxury fitness centre are mandatory. In San Francisco, parking is virtually irrelevant, while active common areas, bike parking, showers and high quality end-of-trip facilities, are imperative.

At the end of the day, all tenants are looking for something special, which is why we work with them to create a workplace that caters to the needs and desires of their workforce. Each tenant is different, though personalised service-levels differentiated amenities, high-end infrastructure, prime location and city views are a top priority to the high-calibre tenants that Pembroke caters to globally.