Almost two years into this blog, I am frequently asked where I get information. Like most people, my answer is “The Internet.” It is not, however, “The Google Machine.”
My blog probably makes it obvious that I love research, but I research not just out of curiosity, but because I believe it is essential to learn as much as I can about my industry as well as the industries and issues of my clients. Consequently, whether I am just catching up on what is happening in commercial real estate or looking for specific insight relevant to a client, I frequently turn to the following websites that I find to be reliable, well-researched sources of information.
Office furniture manufacturers spend extensively researching trends in workspace design and utilization. As such, their websites are fonts of information to a tenant representative like me. Two of my favorites:
- HermanMiller – Case studies, white papers like Measure What Matters about the new benchmarks being measured in workspaces.
- Knoll – Workplace research and insights including a personal favorite on Immersive Planning: An Experience-based Workplace.
International architecture firms Interior Architects and Gensler invest heavily in research. Both firms also utilize their extensive client bases to gather information and feedback. Gensler even has internal research grants for which its employees can apply. These grants can be used to research areas of interest to particular industries or functions.
- Interior Architects – Podcasts, white papers and blog posts including this one entitled Brand + Culture + People = Place.
- Gensler – White papers, case studies, and original research like the 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey. (Yes, this 2013 survey piece is still relevant because Gensler is always ahead of the curve. )
The big four accounting firms’ websites contain white papers on subjects as varied as human resources, telecommuting and the effects of AI on the global workforce. Check them out:
- Deloitte – Deloitte University Press publishes research on work environments, diversity inclusion and virtually any other workplace idea you can ponder. Deloitte recently published Millennials in the workplace: Myth meets reality.
- KPMG – Research on different industries and services including their recent report Women in Real Estate.
- PWC – Insights on various topics including this 2017 lease accounting survey: implementation progress report as well as pwc’s annual CEO Survey.
- EY – Insights on timely subjects like What are the hidden risks of contingent workforces?
Lastly, consulting firms develop and publish in-depth reports that would impress Ivy League professors. Maybe that’s because they are often written by them. My personal favorites are Bain and McKinsey.
- Bain & Company – In addition to their website, Bain has also developed a Bain Insights app. Recently, Bain published New Bank Strategies Require New Operating Models, a thorough brief on changes in the banking industry.
- McKinsey – Features articles on different industries and functions including such titles as The CEO guide to customer experience.