Creating The Office Space of the Future

office of futureI just attended a Bisnow event where a panel of 5 commercial real estate professionals talked about the future of office space. The discussion evolved around a lot of the same trends we see occurring in the industry and office marketplace such as office space designs to be collaborative, social, productive, amenity focused, etc. Below will give you the gist of what was discussed and insight into how industry professionals are talking and thinking about the future of creative office space.

The panel consisted of:

  • Scott Strzinek – Director of Global Facilities, National Instruments
  • Ashley Phillips – Managing Director, Impact Hub
  • Gary Rust – EVP, McCoy – Rockford
  • Justin Segal – President, Boxer Property
  • Lionel Felix – President, Felix Media Solutions, Inc
  • Sam Houston – Partner, HPI Real Estate Services

Overall the panel was all in agreement that companies (especially in Austin, Tx where  there is fierce competition for talent) must continue focus on office spaces designed to recruit and retain employees. Below are some of the key takeaways:

  • Multipurpose spaces are ideal
  • More useful space, less wasted space
  • Spaces that foster collaboration is a focus
  • Amenities are key to attracting employees and retaining existing ones (e.g. fitness centers, meeting rooms, game rooms, showers, food, etc.)
  • Office buildings need to be technology oriented to satisfy tech company needs. If they are not then they need to be upgraded.
  • Mobility – Ability to move around and work from anywhere
  • Spaces need to be designed around employee job functions and preferences
  • The need to have hoteling space for when tenants have visitors 
  • The need for a lot of meeting space
  • Building owners and tenants should focus on community as well as the bottom line
  • People don’t want to work in dads office of the past
  • Bring your own devices (BYOD) allows people to work from anywhere
  • Office space design is specific to each organization. Don’t assume every company wants open space
  • Emphasis on how people work individually as well as a team
  • Relationship between people and work has changed because of technology
  • Replacing the word “Tenant” with “Customer” 
  • Less about physical space and more about helping customers do things that they can’t otherwise do on their own
  • New spaces need a balance between open & closed
  • Landlords need to focus on using space as a tool to help tenants get things done, bring people together, make business introductions, get discounts, with legal matters, etc..
  • Another amenity for landlords to consider is having an onsite dr for tenants to use
  • Incorporating “PLAY” into spaces such as swings
  • The need to make “space” a destination
  • The idea that you don’t need space for every person. Incorporate more hoteling, shared space, etc.
  • Customers want space that is “EASY”. Everyone has to be able to use and enjoy it
  • Creating more value for tenants
  • Landlords to always be asking the question “what can we do for the customer (aka tenant)?
  • How coworking can be used as a tool for companies when expanding, waiting for a space to be built out, satellite offices, remote employees, etc.
  • Large companies leveraging coworking as an extension of their company
  • Flexibility is key. Business climates changing more rapidly
  • The culture is more social than ever and we have a more mobile society
  • Proximity to conveniences is important. Make it easier for company employees to run errands, go to the doctor, pick up the kids, eat, shop, workout
  • Business models must also evolve to make flexible space work
  • Space flexibility must be adopted and supported by organization leaders
  • With the talent crunch in Austin, Tx people are interviewing companies and their space amenities just as companies interview them
  • Employee skill sets and working habit should be considered when designing flexible space
  • Landlords hosting events and using sponsors to help cover the costs
  • Companies searching for office buildings that can accommodate denser users
  • The more dense the space the more landlords have to adapt to how they manage the buildings (e.g. mechanical, HVAC, trash issues, etc.)

future of office spaceWhat Other Industry Professionals Are Saying About The Future Of Office Space

  • People will choose office buildings that practice sustainability – Green in every way possible.
  • Will see more sustainable features and nature
  • Employees want spaces that enhance their working and personal lives. Workspace that is more comfortable.
  • Work space will have environments that will help stimulate our cognitive processes and unlock mental capacity
  • Companies wanting shorter lease terms to maintain flexibility
  • Office space design will incorporate more outside space. They will be sunnier.
  • More integrated services such as laundries, childcare, hair dressers, banks, etc
  • Things that help employees reach a sense of “flow” such as deprivation tanks and the removal of neuro stimulation to allow workers to be their creative best
  • The office experience growth from a hospitality perspective
  • Focus on health and wellness with an emphasis on social, mental, & physical wellness built into the office environment
  • Footpath technology to allow office building owners to learn about how employees interact and move within a building and space which helps them in design

If you would like to learn more about office space trends and what impact they will have on your business don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss. If you need help with your Austin office space search just fill out our form or call 512-861-0525

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