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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Creative Office Solutions for the Modern Workplace

Creative Office Solutions

What does going green, technology, job cuts, and a recession all have in common?  

They are all factors in why office rehabilitation is currently a trending topic in the office industry. Keep reading to learn more about how being aware of these changes in the marketplace can help YOU as a commercial real estate professional make the best decisions on behalf of your clients: 

The “Less Space” Desire
Corporations are finding that technology and recession has reshaped their corporate office culture.  As mentioned by this CCIM article, employers that cut jobs during the recession are realizing they had over excess office space available. Technology is also changing the demand for work space. Working from the office is becoming outdated with the advances that technology has made.  Currently, many employees find it easier to work from home and outside the office. This Harvard Business Review post discusses how it is estimated that 40% of jobs could be performed remotely. 

Less is More
Less is more when it comes to collaboration, flexibility, and lower cost. Employers want employees to have a cohesive, holistic company perspective and with the elimination of privacy, employees are receiving ear shots sharing, important information, and culture in the office. Taking down the drywall has helped save money, keep spaces collaborative, and has seen a variety of successes. Recently, a number of  large corporations, like Google and American Express have redesigned their work spaces in efforts to adapt to new cultural norms.

Developing New, Innovative Office Space
Creating an innovative and productive office with less space that is comfortable is much more than just picking out paint. Smart office spaces are thought out, and create a comfortable and collaborative environment. Among CCIM's top trends in office design are: 
  • No more big, private offices: shared private enclaves where people can "touch down" and be connected without taking up large amounts of space and being too tied down to a physical desk is the new approach. 
  • A shift in design that is geared towards activity-based planning: employees are doing more activities throughout the day that may include meetings, planning sessions and coffee dates and thus require more different types of space to collaborate. 
  • Goodbye to drywall: "Clients are looking for more flexibility, which translates into lower construction costs and lower tenant improvement costs. Forty percent of the space in private offices requires a lot of drywall. Going to fewer than 17 percent private offices cuts drywall by a third or a half."
With a new generation and work culture that is pressing for a change in their work environment, it can be intimidating for businesses to make the right choices when redesigning, and rehabilitating office space. This is why it is important for commercial real estate professionals to seek and leverage options within existing spaces and advise clients on the best actions to take.

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