If the 20th century was about ownership - my house, my car - in many walks of life, we are starting to see the rise of the sharing economy, driven by Airbnb, Lyft, TaskRabbit (now owned by IKEA) and others. While many people think of the sharing economy as peer-to-peer services, it also means on-demand and right sized products and services.
Given the high cost of real estate, it makes sense to increase flexibility to maximize space utilization and revenue potential. Hotels have evolved how they build guest rooms, hospitality areas and event venues to generate more money from their fixed assets.
Modern office design is less focused on “my office” - your company's name in the reception area and rows of individual offices with doors. The shift is towards shared and flexible space. Large private offices are being replaced by purposeful lounges, community tables, and hideouts preferred by millennial employees. These spaces promote ad hoc meetings and productive collaboration sessions.
These workspaces are more dynamic as well. Flexible layouts allow a workspace to comfortably accommodate a large team meeting in the morning, one-on-one sessions throughout the day, and a client happy hour in the evening. Modular furniture that moves and stacks easily allows employees to make the space fit their needs on the fly.
As employees wish to move around to make themselves comfortable, tenants want flexibility too. Corporate office design trends show larger enterprises are quickly adopting this benefits shared workspaces. Kane Willmott of IQ Office Suites says WeWork has been so successful because they untethered companies from the traditional, long-term office lease. No longer need to be a balance sheet liability, office space can grow or decrease alongside personnel changes.
Office trends show property managers acting more like hospitality companies to retain tenants. In a panel, Jeffrey Langdon of Adaptive Office Resources, Mike Fransen from Parkway and Ryan Simonetti, founder of Convene, shared the services they are deploying:
Buildings have deployed onboarding processes for new tenants and their employees, personalized greetings and more proactive tenant outreach.
Workspaces have added more amenities historically reserved for Silicon Valley unicorns. These range from fitness centers, laundry, vehicle repair, break and entertainment rooms, pet care and more.
Taking after coworking spaces, buildings have cross-companies breakfasts and happy hours so tenants can get to know fellow companies and build a local community.
Shared conference rooms are available to all tenants. This might generate revenue for the building owner but also gives organizations flexibility in their space.
Corporate office design is following suit. This enables workers holding meetings around the campus while staying in touch with their colleagues. Office automation technologies allows the workspace to minimize distractions and boost productivity. And the shrinking size of technology, and bring-your-own-device culture, means less hardware for buildings. Instead, building must connecting devices and adapt as technology changes.
This benefits asset owners too. They are able to capture and analyze data about what happens within their building. If a coffee kiosk or conference room aren’t being used, they can find another use that is more valuable for inhabitants.
Millennial employees want their company and office to reflect their values. That often means environmentally friendly buildings. Finding efficient office solutions can also benefit asset owners through energy savings. This can mean anything from LEED certification to smaller steps like green cleaning supplies and automatic lights.
Denver voters recently passed a green roof ballot initiative. Despite being significantly outspent by the competition, Denver joins San Francisco, New York, Paris and London. In those cities, buildings over a certain square footage must line the roof with solar panels or greenery. Winning the popular vote shows residents want to work in, and be surrounding by, more environmentally friendly architecture.
Millennials, smaller firms, the sharing economy and remote work are all having a major impact on modern office design. Trends points towards buildings and workspaces becoming more flexible in how space is used. Tenants, employees and asset owners will all benefit as space is designed to fit ever changing utilization and needs.
We want to hear from you. What changes are you seeing in your market?
See Greetly in action! Schedule a free Webinar demo. Our expert team will show you how Greetly can keep your workplace safe, healthy and productive.
What Is Greetly?
An easy to use visitor management system. Which helps you save on a traditional receptionist. It is a fully customizable platform that integrates with all
well-known messaging and client management systems. Clients have found it simple to set-up and manage.