Bookmarks: 5 Interesting Articles That May Help You This Week

Each week, I select a few articles that rise above the fray and hopefully help you on your journey in the CRE world. They pull from one of four "corners:" corporate real estate, technology, management science and anything positive. I welcome your comments on these articles.

1. The Rise Of The Subcontractors: Labor Shortage Keeping Skilled Workers In Control



The labor shortage in the construction industry is one of the country's great, unsolved problems as the economic expansion has continued. While it has caused prices to shoot up, it has also created a new dynamic in which subcontractors are now arguably the most powerful entity on a job site.

For companies who provide specialized labor to construction companies, the Great Recession was a game-changer. And when it comes to pricing and availability, subcontractors — an industry that cycles between feast and famine — are expected to retain their power over pricing and timing for the foreseeable future.

“All of this is driven by workforce, manpower and skilled trades,” Associated General Contractors of Georgia CEO Mike Dunham said. “The [subcontractors] are just constrained by the sheer availability of skilled workers. I don't have anybody who doesn't need people. The subs right now are in the catbird seat. They are at an absolutely maximum capacity.”

2. Workplace as a Service: Workplace for the Future


The rise of flexible workspace solutions is fast becoming one of the principal disruptors in the modern world, with cost-savings and the ability to attract top staff changing the way companies do business

The word ‘disruption’ has become de rigueur in business circles in recent years.

From startups breaking into industries previously dominated by major global players, to the rapid advancement of technology and evolving working practices, the business world continues to be in a state of flux.

But while many may associate disruption with technological advancement, it’s actually how we work that is becoming one of the central drivers of this revolution, with flexible working due to eclipse artificial intelligence as a key disruptor in the 2020s.

The era when employees were happy to work in packed offices, 9-6, day-after-day is coming to an end. Now more than ever, the modern employee prizes flexibility.

3. Best Practices: Getting Out Of An Investment When The Getting Is Good

Courtesy of Rodney Richerson

Courtesy of Rodney Richerson

Nothing lasts forever, including commercial real estate assets' most productive years. Determining exactly when the best time is to sell a CRE asset is, however, as much art as science.

What are the most important considerations in how long to hold a property, and how do you determine the best exit strategy?

We put that question to executives at six CRE investment companies, of various sizes and holding various property types.

4. Millennial Sleeping Habits Are Changing The Modern Workplace: Here's How

I've written before about how millennials are changing the workplace in terms of technology use, cultural attitudes, and even the distribution of the workforce.

But there’s a subtle way millennials could be reshaping the workplace, and it might be beneficial for everyone: it’s all in how they sleep.

There are some conflicting reports on how often millennials sleep, but the general consensus is that they’re sleeping more hours of the day. For example, one study by the American Bureau of Labor Statistics found that millennials are sleeping an average of 25 minutes longer each night. With the average American sleeping 6.8 hours per night, that propels millennials straight into the recommended “7 to 9 hours” category.

Compared to other generational groupings, millennials are doing well in terms of the number of total hours slept. Generation X members appear to be the worst. However, millennials are also reporting higher levels of stress, casting some doubt on the true quality of the sleep they’re getting—but for now, let’s focus on the positives.

5. Now Calling Balls and Strikes: Robot Umpires

Dominick Reuter for the Wall Street Journal

Dominick Reuter for the Wall Street Journal

Facing a 3-2 count in the seventh inning here Friday night, T.J. Rivera of the Long Island Ducks let a borderline changeup pass by, tossed his bat away and jogged toward first base. He thought he had drawn a walk to break up a perfect game by opposing pitcher Rick Teasley of the Somerset Patriots.

Five steps down the line, Rivera heard home plate umpire J.B. Torres deliver those two dreaded words: strike three. Rivera glared back at Torres, preparing to plead his case, when he remembered an important detail: Torres didn’t actually make the call. A little voice in Torres’s head told him to do it.

“[Rivera] said to me, ‘I was trying to get that walk, but I forgot it’s not on you tonight—it’s on the computer,’” Torres said.

Baseball’s future has arrived in the Atlantic League, a collection of eight independent professional teams that span from New Britain, Conn., to Sugar Land, Texas. In February, the Atlantic League reached a three-year agreement to audition a series of experimental rules for Major League Baseball to evaluate, largely designed to improve pace of play and generate action. These include the prohibition of mound visits and defensive shifts, shorter inning breaks and enabling hitters to “steal” first base on any pitch not successfully caught in the air.

Your success blesses others. I wish you a great a hugely impactful week!