Antonia Cardone | Americas Lead | Total Workplace | Cushman & Wakefield | The value of being together in the workplace


DA: Welcome to TEN, the Tenant Experience Network.  I’m your host, David Abrams. In this episode, we are connecting with Antonia Cardone, America’s Lead Client Solutions Total Workplace at Cushman & Wakefield. In this episode, we learn about Antonia’s career journey, beginning with her training as an architect and her early interest in strategic facility planning. Her career trajectory took hold and she has been fortunate to be doing what she loves, solving a wide variety of problems for her clients. Antonia shared a glimpse into the data that Cushman & Wakefield is analyzing, including employee sentiments around the value of connecting to people in the workplace. Antonia has shared a number of reasons people want to be in the office. In the past, being in the office was about having access to stuff, whereas today, the new emphasis is on socialization and collaboration. She suggests that while amenities and environment are important, the value of being together is the real driver of spending time in the office. We both agree that casual interactions are critically important to building great teams and doing great work, and are especially difficult to schedule spontaneously over Zoom. We had a great conversation around how building operators and occupiers can be working together to really shake up the physical workplace across all building classes. Antonia’s insights into how the way people work in buildings is impacting cities and local businesses, causing less stress and allowing for more streamlined operations were really interesting and something I had not previously considered. We also discussed how technology can help solve some of the challenges around improving collaboration in the workspace, and supporting people continuing to work from everywhere. Antonia also recognized the need to be able to better track space utilization, to deliver improved service and programs, and provide more visibility of data for the users of spaces. We are excited to share this podcast with you, so be sure to subscribe to “TEN” so you never miss an episode of the “Tenant Experience Network”. And now I’d like to welcome Antonia to the show, I’m really glad you could be with us today.

AC: My pleasure.

DA: Looking forward to our conversation, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to tap into the knowledge and insights around topics that I know are very dear to you, workplace strategies, relevance and experience, and the return to office. And I know a lot of that is very much a part of Cushman & Wakefield’s Workplace Ecosystems of the World Report, so I’m looking forward to tapping into some of what you know and can share with our listeners. So, let’s dive in. And to start us off maybe you could just tell us about the journey to your current position role, How did you get started?

AC: Well, I’m educated as an architect and during my architectural studies I was a very capable B+ designer, and there were some fabulous people in my class who were really, really skilled at that. And I realized that perhaps I could bring something else to the party apart from being an excellent designer, and so immediately began sort of looking at other ways in the industry where I could make a contribution. And it turns out there were many, as we know, architects don’t only design things they do a whole lot of other things. And so in my final year of studies we had a guest lecturer who spoke about what at the time was called strategic facility planning, and that really piqued my interest and I began to think about business and how designers actually respond to the requirements of occupants in space based on the businesses that they run, and how design could support that in a new way. And so I got the opportunity, shortly after graduating, to work in a team that were focused on strategic facility planning, and that really set me on my path ever since. So, I’m deeply rooted in consulting around the kinds of business problems that can be solved through spatial solutions with our clients, and originally on the design side and now doing very similar things here on the real estate side of the equation.

DA: Really interesting. And so, when that trajectory started to take shape, was it a surprise to you that based on your expertise and your area of interest that it could lead to a position like this?

AC: I was kind of delighted and certainly excited, being young and at university to sort of discover something that seemed more in my sweet spot than what it was that I was studying. The last thing somebody wants to do is end up after a very long, complex six year degree at university, feeling like they studied the wrong thing. So, as those opportunities began to be revealed to me, I was pretty excited about that for sure, and have really built on that and stayed on that trajectory for the entirety of my career. So it’s been very rewarding, I must say.

DA: I’m sure it has, nice when those things work out in that way. And add to your point, it is a big investment and there probably are many people that go down that path and find out, “Oops, perhaps a wrong turn along the way.” So that’s great that yours went as planned. And I’m just curious, what do you think made you so uniquely suited for this position, as this opportunity took shape, what’s helped you to become successful?

AC: Well, certainly, there were people in the early days, and actually all the way through my career, who’ve really sort of taught me my craft. So, it’s really helpful to be surrounded by people who you respect and feel are doing really good work, and are setting a high bar for you to rise to, so there’s certainly that. But we’re all sort of multi-dimensional people and I realized, even in high school, that I was interested in both arts and I was analytic, I was good at math and I was interested in design and art, and the fine arts, and I’m definitely a people person, when we do all those kinds of personality assessment things I always score on the people side of the results. So, where could I exercise all of those capabilities? I also quite frequently, if I stay on one track for too long get bored, so I like variety, I like engagements with multiple clients at one point in time, I don’t want to be involved in something over a five year period with one client, et cetera. So the consulting world where I engage with multiple clients, we deal with very different thoughts based on the scopes of work and the problems we’re trying to solve for our clients, throughout any day the variety is really, really wide and I benefit from and enjoy that very deeply. So I can bring the fullness of my interests and my skillsets, both analytical and creative, and my natural tendencies for working with people and problem-solving to the variety in my work, so there’s a whole sort of collection of magical things that happened there that bring me to this place in my career.

DA: Yeah, I love that, I think we have a lot in common. I too am somewhat of a people person but, like you, I also like variety and I like to be… I don’t want to work on a project that has a 10 year horizon, I’d like to do many different things and I had that opportunity, certainly, in the marketing communications world where I began, and even in building out HILO, no two days are the same.

AC: Right.

DA: And there’s always new clients, new opportunities, new initiatives, new technology we’re thinking about, so that’s definitely what keeps me going as well.

AC: I found that as being one of the really big challenges that came with COVID, and that variety seemed to reduce, be reduced very quickly. When we stopped being able to move around quite so much, when travel went away, when we were certainly at home and afraid of the disease and the streets, that was very challenging for me to disconnect from those parts of my work and my life that were really stimulating, so very challenging.

DA: Totally get that. We can’t say enough about the impact and what we’ve all been through. And, to that end, I think we can both agree that commercial real estate has just gone through one of the most turbulent periods of time that we can never remember, will ever remember. Certainly, it still remains the largest asset class in the world, however, it continues to rebound from prolonged periods of low levels of occupancy, and it’s still trying to meet the needs, the emerging needs of people today. On top of that, it’s faced with the disruption of new technologies that are enabling now building operators to deliver spaces and service in entirely new ways. So very exciting times and a lot for us to talk about and unpack. Our team, the team at HILO, really believes that we’re now part, or the buildings are now part of a much larger workplace ecosystem. And the physical workspace, while still at its core, we need to be able to connect with people no matter where they are, whether that be at their dining room table or at a co-working space or a local cafe, or maybe their summer deck at a cottage. So I’m just curious, what are you seeing right now, ’cause I’m really trying to provide our listeners with a glimpse into what’s happening today. The commercial real estate industry is re-imagining as it continues to respond to the emerging needs of its customers.

AC: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we certainly have our finger on the pulse right now and a couple of things that we’re seeing, just one thing to start this segment here is that here at Cushman & Wakefield we do quite a bit of research into the experience that people have at work. We have a diagnostic tool called the Experience Per Square Foot survey, and we use that with our clients to understand the experience of the workforce. So we’ve had over 180,000 people participate in that survey over the last couple of years, and we’ve been watching how metrics have been changing over time in relation to that, so we certainly have our finger on that pulse.

DA: Mm-Hmm.

AC: So, as we think about what we’ve learned from that, we can say that, certainly the workforce, the employee sentiment, is very much oriented around the value of the workplace being about connecting with people.

DA: Right.

AC: We have seen that the scores related to people drivers, affecting our work, trending up over the last year or so. So, we’re really watching that very carefully. It used to be at the beginning of the pandemic experience in 2020 that scores were very high around the reason to be in the office was because of stuff, whether that be spaces, tools, monitors, things that we used to use, my files, my precedent books for attorneys, whatever the stuff was, physical things were the reason to be in the office, that was the reason for place.

DA: Right.

AC: We have seen the aspiration or the desire to be with that stuff really drop off here at the end of 2022. Those requirements are really quite low and what has absolutely ascended into the highest priority is to be in the work environment are related to, number one, socialization with our peers. And that doesn’t mean necessarily having a beer but just sort of having a personal connection and a knowledge and understanding about the people that we work with, that is really the grease for the wheels of the next thing which is collaboration with our peers. So that’s the number two requirement for being in the office that employees themselves say is the value. So number one is socializing, number two is collaborating. And then we start to move on from that and more personal things, but about having a sense of wellbeing and using the commute to the workplace as sort of punctuation in the day to articulate that this is the beginning of the workday and this is the end of the workday, even though, of course, we know people work beyond those commute points. But, nevertheless, sort of getting a sense of balance and wellbeing, some separation between work and life is certainly a good reason to be in the office and people cite that regularly. And then, increasingly with economic pressures, we’re seeing the rise of people wanting to be seen by and to see themselves leaders in the organization, and that is being perceived as a really good reason to be in the office as well. So that ultimately comes back to the individual, them taking care of their own career at this time where they may be feeling some sense of anxiety about that. But these are the reasons that have really emerged as the drivers for people to want to be in the office, and so that helps sort of talk about the value of the workplace in our communities. So that’s very much what’s going on in the employee’s mind today. The other side of the equation is, what’s going on in either the corporate real estate executive’s mindset or the client’s mindset in relation to how they support the workforce. So we have internal/external, the employee and then the provider to the employee. So, on that side there’s absolutely, by far, the number one issue on people’s minds today here in the US is how can they increase the number of people in the office at any given time, how can they increase attendance? How can they motivate people to when they get up in the morning or think about their week ahead, to actually be changing their mind and saying, “I am going to go to the office, it’s worth it.” And so what can the organization, whether that be leadership in the organization or the real estate function in the organization, or anybody else in the company do to motivate each other for people to show up. So that’s by far the number one question we get.

DA: Right, but I would think there’d be some crossover or connection to what you first explained from the employee’s perspective-

AC: Absolutely.

DA: Because knowing that, there’s a lot that could influence what the occupier, what the buildings could be doing.

AC: Right, so the occupier has a real really strong role in this method to motivate the employee to come. We’ve had all sorts of discussions over the last couple of years about things like amenities and renovating space, and all of these kinds of things, and they are certainly supporters of a great experience in the office. But before that are these people drivers, if you want to come back and you think the reason for the office is about socialization and collaboration with your peers, then when you get there and there’s organic lettuce in the salad bar, that’s nice, but you probably didn’t come for the organic lettuce-

DA: Right.

AC: You came because, “My friends and my peers, and my team, were going to be there that day and we were going to do a thing together,” or, “I looked forward to seeing them,” or, “I just enjoyed being in their company more than I enjoyed being at home by myself.” So, all of these are the supports the organization provides, be it around amenities, be it around physical work environment, are fabulous supporters of a great experience but they’re generally not the reason why people are choosing to make the commute and to come.

DA:  Right, right.

AC:  So, the higher priority is that leaders of the organization talk about the value of being together-

DA:  Mm-Hmm.

AC: And managers of teams take action to inspire their team members to make the move and come in. So, having frequent conversations about, “Which days are people coming in this week?” “Oh, David’s coming on Wednesday. Well, then I’ll go on Wednesday and we’ll work on that problem we’ve been trying to do together, maybe we’ll even solve it instead of 27 emails and 30 Ims by just sitting together for an hour or so. Let’s, schedule that David.” Oh, and then somebody else overhears that and they say, “Well, if you guys are going to be there I’ll come in and let’s go for lunch.” So now we start to get sort of a little bit of critical mass in our team where three of us will be together and the other half a dozen might think differently about, “Well, maybe I’ll come on Wednesday instead of Thursday,” and blah, blah, blah, “Can I change my pattern to enjoy the company of my peers in a way that I can’t when I’m at home?” So team leaders and managers need to be allowing those conversations to happen regularly as normal discourse, it might be one of the agenda items on the weekly staff meeting, “oh, who’s coming in which day this week? Is there any advantage in a few of us coming together?” and it’s normal conversation. So that needs to happen, as well as the organization at the highest levels talking about the value of being together. And when we were pre-pandemic, coming to the office, we would go to a meeting, do some concentrated work, have a chit-chat with somebody in the hallway, pause and have a conversation in the kitchen with somebody else, ride the elevator and wander out to transit with somebody from the company, and we’d have all these interstitial casual conversations that when we went to work from home essentially went to zero.

DA: Right.

AC: And so all we had left in our day was concentrated work or collaborative work via these kinds of remote tools here. So now when we come back to the office, and we’ve been hearing this very much from our colleagues and also from people we’ve been running focus groups with over the last few months, a frustration with coming back to the office as these kind of casual things are being perceived as a waste of time. “I couldn’t get anything done, I went to the office, I had two calls and I had three conversations and I came back and I realized, oh, I didn’t get anything done today.” We need to stop that perception that that’s not valuable.

DA: Right.

AC: In fact, that’s the highest value of being in the office. Sitting on a call with somebody in another place from the office is not the greatest value of being here, you can do that from anywhere, but the conversations you have in the hallway you can’t do from anywhere, and that, as I mentioned before, is really the grease that moves the wheels, that helps people feel better, be motivated to come again and to build those relationships with their peers. So, we have a very close relationship between what the organization does, motivating managers to have the conversations and promoting the value of these casual interactions in the workplace, and then the functional supports in our organization of HR, IT and real estate, providing a fabulous experience when you actually get there. No crawling under the desk and plugging in your gadgets, or no miserable coffee in the kitchen, or those kinds of things. You want to feel like this is a fabulous place to be, and all the physical things here support that experience. So there’s multiple influencers on the individual and the organization can do a lot about making it great.

DA: Yeah, well, there was a lot there that you just shared with us, and some stuff that really resonated with me. Well, first of all, going right back to the beginning, talking about people that used to come in for stuff. I never thought of it in those terms but a simple analogy would be, you used to come in for stuff, now you should really be coming in to do stuff. And I think you did touch on that and I agree 100%, I feel, personally, as well on behalf of my team star for those casual interactions. If you ever want to just think about something or bounce an idea off someone currently in a remote only situation, I’d have to schedule a Zoom call.

AC: Right.

DA: And that is so unnatural. And then to come onto the Zoom call and be spontaneous, which was perhaps the motivation for setting up the call and trying to remember, “Well, what was that motivation?” And I think it’s impossible.

AC: Yeah.

DA: And so I think that what might be perceived as meaningless moments are actually so important and so significant. And, again, I think we live in a world now where likely hybrid will win the day, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other but how do we make them both really important and help to build great companies? I’m just curious ’cause you’ve talked a lot about leadership and I agree the onus on leadership to engage with their employees, but do you think there’s an opportunity for the building operators or owners to collaborate with the leadership of the occupier of those tenants, in helping them to create those opportunities, create those experiences-

AC: Yeah.

DA: To continue to attract and retain the best talent and, to your point, build those experiences perhaps together in some way?

AC: Yeah, so if we think of buildings that are not occupied by a single occupant or a couple of very large ones who are big corporates in some way, I look out the window here and see multiple high rises, I’m sure they’re there’s fewer of them that have sort of a single occupant.

DA: Right.

AC: So those ones where there might be a different company on every floor or multiples throughout the building, they’re very rich opportunities for landlords to say, “I can help you improve the experience of your people when they come,” because you as a smaller organization or at least a smaller tenancy, probably do not want to be providing all of the kinds of amenities within your space that you would love to be offering to your people. So, how can the landlord be part of that variety of places that the occupants in their building can use throughout the day? And that doesn’t just mean a exercise place and a food place, et cetera, it means other types of places for work. It’s sort of-

DA:  Mm-Hmm.

AC: As we think about casual settings, as we think about going to get a great coffee in a coffee shop that we enjoy, it probably has a nice spot to sit, whether that be overlooking a view or comfy sofas, or cool stools around an interesting shape table, or whatever it might be. There’s probably something about that, that we like to to sit and pause and enjoy our drink with our friend, so how can building owners and landlords provide for those kinds of experiences in the building so that the occupant is not trying to fund and subsidize that in their own space. So, absolutely, there’s an enormous opportunity for folks to step up here, and this is what we’re seeing with how people are making changes to the buildings that they choose-

DA: Right.

AC: So there is definitely a flight to quality and one of the pillars of quality is the kinds of amenities and provisions that are in that building for the occupants to avail themselves of.

DA: Right, I agree 100% and I’ll just add my own 2 cents about the flight to quality. I don’t think that means it only has to be A class buildings-

AC: No.

DA: I think that B and C class buildings can think about that notion of flight to quality and use their size, their nimbleness, their ability to respond quickly, to actually do things that perhaps are more difficult or more costly in a class A building.

AC: Absolutely.

DA: So I don’t think flight to quality needs to suggest that everybody else hasn’t got a chance, I actually think it creates an amazing opportunity for the market as a whole.

AC: Yeah, I’m looking out here, I’m sort of looking at a rooftop in what I would definitely not say is an A grade building-

DA: Right.

AC: But the landlord or the owner of that building could enliven that rooftop for the occupants, and imagine how wonderful it is on a sunny day to spend some time there. What if you could actually get wifi there-

DA: Yeah.

AC: Et cetera, et cetera. So, that’s a extra provision for the occupants of the building that doesn’t relate to the class of the building, it elevates itself by just thinking about, “How can we use what we have in a better way?” And imagine where we have some lower rise and lower quality buildings that perhaps surrounds a courtyard-type space-

DA: Mm-Hmm, yeah.

AC: How can we make that space safe? How can we activate that with wifi? How can we provide shade there? How can we provide perhaps a drinking fountain? What things could we provide, and some seating where you could actually put your laptop and sit comfortably for an hour, or something, and enjoy the sunlight in the middle of the day. So, how could you activate spaces-

DA: Right.

AC: Between lower quality buildings too, that help provide some sense of amenity, so there are very many ways that don’t just mean the highest cost and the newest fanciest buildings.

DA: I agree 100%. I think a lot of old buildings, given the nature of what I do every day, and I also think about their place within neighborhoods and cities, and that buildings are not just silos, they’re not just four walls, and they’re not seen as separate but they actually are very much a part of helping to create vibrant communities. So I’m just curious about your thoughts about how workplaces can play a role in creating a larger and more connected community.

AC: Yeah, absolutely. Well, we will continue, over time, to see the value of the workplace as being a place for people to come to be together.

DA: Hmm.

AC: We don’t necessarily need to do our work there because we’ve just proven to ourselves that we can really sort of do our work from anywhere-

DA: Anywhere.

AC: We choose to. But, the neutral ground where I can go to see my colleagues is the workplace. And so that does and will continue to drive activity in the city throughout the day as people come and go from those places. As we know, we have the ability to work from anywhere, it will also mean that peak hour, the rush hour in the morning and the rush hour in the afternoon will be less peak-

DA: Mm-Hmm.

AC: In fact, in future because I can come at 11 after I’ve done a couple of calls in the morning and I can leave at three after I’ve had lunch and a meeting, and head home and get back to work when I arrive there. So, it’ll mean that our cities and the environments around our workplaces will be activated for more of the day rather than just rush hour morning and afternoon.

DA: That’s brilliant, I never thought about it in those terms but that’s a great insight.

AC: And hopefully that helps drive business to those businesses on the street, if you like, throughout the day in a more even way than it used to be.

DA: Right.

AC: So you’d have morning rush hour, you’d have the lunch dashout and buy something or do an errand, or something crowd, and the commuting home crowd. Well hopefully that, over time, we’ll see an evenness of the experience at the street level throughout the day. Sure, there’ll still be peaks and valleys but there’ll be more movement between, I dunno, call it 9:30 and 11:30, or something, than there used to be.

DA: Right.

AC: So, the work environments and workplaces in cities will continue to have a really valuable contribution to make, and I look forward to seeing that evolve over time. We’ve had what we used to call normal from 2019, we had then some abnormal things for a couple of years and we’re coming back to some new balance going forward, and I’m really excited to see how our city’s rebound and come back to a new sort of balanced perspective.

DA: As am I, and I very much feel that they will and that particularly downtown cores and downtown business districts will continue to be revitalized and re-energized, and I think to your point, it might just look different, but I think that same importance and the interaction between all these stakeholders is just as critical, so that’ll be fun to watch. Let’s take a short commercial break.

AC: David, if I just could add-

DA: Oh sorry, go ahead.

AC: Let me just add one other thought to that, and that is, as we look at regenerating or repurposing our buildings, I anticipate that some of our office buildings will be converted to residential.

DA: Right.

AC: And that also will bring new energy to our cities. Now I think that in some places that will take a very long time, decades perhaps, to happen, but I look forward to seeing the progressive shift to more people living in the city. It’s better for sustainability, it’s better for community building, it’s better for sort of liveliness of our places, and so I think that that’s something that we can look forward to.

DA: I think you’re right, we’re obviously seeing a lot of that talk in New York, specifically, where we’re actually spending a lot of our time, a lot of energy and thought coming forward around that conversion process and what that looks like, in creating more affordable housing opportunities as well, so a win-win for everybody. Let’s take a short break and we’ll be right back.


DA: And now I’d like to welcome back to the show Antonia Cardone, America’s Lead Client Solutions Total Workplace at Cushman & Wakefield. I’m loving the conversation and I’m really glad, again, you could be with us today. As I mentioned earlier, technology’s playing a significant role in helping to shape how building operators deliver great customer experience to their tenants, and workplace engagement is uppermost in everyone’s mind, both building, operator owner, and occupier, and presents many opportunities to do things differently. So I’m curious, from your own knowledge and as well as the data to which you are diving into on a daily basis, with a focus on meeting those evolving needs of people and buildings, what technologies are you seeing that are gaining traction and are perhaps contributing to a better tenant experience?

AC: Well, if we start from the idea of work, the key technologies that we need, excuse me. The key technologies that we need right now to be coming to the fore and improving our work experience are our collaborative technologies-

DA: Mm-Hmm.

AC: Particularly in relation to the tools we use in meeting spaces when not everybody is in the room with us.

DA: Right.

AC: So, how do we connect with those people who are working from somewhere else today, but need to participate in this collaborative experience with the rest of us who are in a room? Sometimes the number of people in the room is smaller than the number of people who aren’t in the room-

DA:  Right.

AC: And other times it’s vice versa, where we have a critical mass in the room and a couple of people elsewhere. So, we need to solve for that experience in a frictionless way immediately. And I know that there are many organizations out there trying to grapple with that, and I hope, very much, that in the next couple of years we really see us move ahead in leaps and bounds in that way. And I just personally hope that that doesn’t mean that we all go to some sort of funny avatar type situation-

DA: Right.

AC: That we really can deal with the video and seeing whiteboards behind us, and people being able to draw on their own screen and show up on our board. I hope that we really are able to do those things in a way that doesn’t feel awkward and painful, so that’s my biggest aspiration for technology supporting work. But if we take it then the next level and say, “Well, what about building oriented technologies and the tools that enable us to count things, count where people are, count how many people are there, count how many people are on our wifi systems from security perspective, from safety perspective, but also from usability perspective so that we can use that data to plan and change our work environments based on these types of spaces are extremely popular and these ones are not-

DA: Right.

AC: Very popular at all, let’s convert to more popular spaces. Take from one category and refit to suit another category.” So all sorts of sensor technologies that enable us to count and to work out where the needs are, are those that are certainly making an impact to those of us who operate spaces. And then to people who actually operate buildings, so can we adjust our air conditioning systems, can we adjust our lighting systems, can we adjust our cleaning programs, our security programs to reflect where people are? It’s not clean floors where nobody’s there been there-

DA: Right.

AC: How do our cleaning teams know that when they arrive at the building, perhaps after dark or something to that effect. So from a building operations perspective, how can we be really efficient, particularly to deliver sustainability, positive sustainability outcomes, by not operating things that are not being used, not cleaning things that aren’t dirty, and making sure that we have great services-

DA: Right.

AC: Where people really are. So there’s sort of tiering layers of technology that are really emerging and making a difference, and we look forward to those things all coming together.

DA: Yeah.

AC: And, of course, then from the user perspective, can they see what’s going on? Can those things be visible via dashboards and apps so that I can see who’s coming in, I can see who’s in what rooms, I can see where I want to be with the people I enjoy. So, there’s that cascading effect of technology in place.

DA: Yeah, I think you’ve identified a lot of the hot buttons, a whole lot of the hot issues and the opportunity to know what people are doing, where they’re engaging, what they’re utilizing, and how that data supports the building operations team and vice versa, to your point, if the people, the users of that space, can also get a sense of their peers and the activities in those spaces as well. Certainly, from our perspective, being in the tenant experience, tenant engagement world, we’re thinking about how our technology will evolve to meet many of the needs you’ve just identified, so thank you for sharing that. Our closing speed around is an opportunity to get to know you a little bit better, not just your role in business. So, I’m just curious, what do you do or what do you enjoy doing when not at work?

AC: I love to be outside. Some people who know me know that I’ve been known to ice climb and to rock climb on occasion, so going to my own personal edge is a thrill.

DA: Very good. What’s your favorite drink of choice? That could be hot, cold, alcohol, non-alcohol. What’s your favorite beverage?

AC: Well, perhaps the number one is sparkling water but then if we go for something slightly more interesting than that, I love the now very unfashionable, very oaky, vanillary California Chardonnays.

DA: Okay, amazing. Well, wine is definitely amongst yours and my favorites. What’s your favorite movie or current TV series that you’re now watching?

AC: That’s an easy one, “Great British Baking Show” every time.

DA: Okay, name one way in which technology has improved how you live or work, something very personal to you.

AC: Very personal. I’m not American, you can probably tell from my accent, I’m Australian and FaceTime, video calls with my family back in Australia has changed all of our lives, it’s been spectacular.

DA: I get that. And what is your personal choice for days spent in person with your colleagues versus working from anywhere?

AC: Well, as I mentioned at the beginning I love variety so I want lots of different things to happen during the week, I want one or two days in the office with my colleagues but I also then want to be visiting my clients elsewhere, I want to be traveling, I want to have some time at home as well. So I want all the things, but probably one to two days with my colleagues in the office.

DA: That’s great. Well, flexibility, I think it’s what we all want, I think that’s been one of the best outcomes of this period of time we’ve just lived through. Antonia, thank you so much for joining me today, some tremendous and valuable insights that you’ve shared. I look forward to this being just the first of hopefully many conversations as we continue to explore what the world of commercial real estate looks like. Again, thanks for helping to kick off season four and I wish you all the best. Thank you so much.

AC: Thanks, David, a pleasure. Best wishes for 2023.

DA: I agree, thank you, bye now. I want to thank Antonia Cardone for joining me on this episode of  TEN, and for contributing to the global conversation around buildings, being a part of a robust ecosystem, helping to build great companies, and that they’re vital in the effort to cultivate and support great people and teams. The future of the workplace will likely take many forms and we will continue to explore what that looks like together. Subscribe to TEN for more conversations with leading CRE industry professionals and experts who all of something to say about “Tenant Experience” and the future of the workplace. We love hearing from you, so if you enjoyed this episode of TEN please share, add your rating and review us through your preferred podcast provider.

If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on a future episode, please reach out to me directly at And until our next episode, I wish you all continued success in building community where you work and live, thank you.