Is the end nigh for the traditional corporate model in which office-based workers follow a 9-5 schedule in a fixed location? If so, what effect will this have on productivity? And how will the workspace revolution, as many refer to it, affect demand for commercial real estate? These were some of the questions raised at the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa) annual convention held recently in Durban. A key theme that emerged was that if companies want to retain the best talent, the office should no longer be viewed merely as a place to work. "It’s now all about creating high-performance, collaborative workspaces to keep employees happy and productive," says Rudolf Pienaar, chief development and investment officer of JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties, one of SA’s largest commercial landlords. In a panel discussion on productivity in the modern office environment, Pienaar said there had been a huge increase globally in demand for "green, smart and well" buildings – not only to meet...

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