What is the old saying, “here today, gone tomorrow”? With most trends, like fashion, that idiom rings true in many ways, however, it seems that new frontier for office space trends is one that will remain for the long-haul. Long gone are the days of caged employees within monochromatic cubicles, lunch being eaten at your desk or in a small, dimly lit “kitchen area”, meetings being held in dingy conference rooms. The new black when it’s come office space and workers is community space and creativity, both important enough that when the “higher ups” are seeking new office spaces, the idea is less offices, more open space.
With all that said, let’s explore the new trends that are hitting (and is most cases, has already hit) the office space highway.
Trend Numero Uno: Let’ them Create!
In tons of offices around the country, and I’d even go as far to say, around the world, it’s becoming an increasingly hot commodity to foster an environment of creativity. Just like in elementary school, CEO’s and upper-level management, like teachers, are looking to produce and environment that allows everyone to create in their very own way. In many instances, working in a bland environment stifles that creativity, which will only hurt many of the new-age and contemporary businesses. And let’s face it, the new generation of workers, the twenty-somethings of today, were born and bred on creativity, and often times, need it to flourish. Queue the creative space, ya’ll! Most employers are now looking to create work space that is stimulating, because where there is stimulation, there is creativity, and where there is creativity, there is productivity.
Trend Number Two: Where there is Creativity, People are Engaged.
Remember how in just the last paragraph we were talking about the twenty-somethings of today? Well, those very same twenty-somethings are just now making their way into the work force and are heavily reliant on an environment that promotes creativity. Additionally, that generation also needs to stay engaged in order to remain productive. Many people need to be kept engaged while they are in the work place. One of the best ways to do so, according to Corovan, is to allow different departments to design their own workspace. The idea being, if you have control over creating your own workspace, it will be the optimal work space. Furthermore, many companies are now hiring professionals to design workspace that promotes an engaged atmosphere.
Trend Number 3: Utilize the Space.
Cubicles are a thing of the past, for most new offices anyway. While they are not only stifling to employees, they do not utilize space in the best way possible. Open floor plans are not going anywhere, thankfully. I saw this first hand when visiting a friend’s office in Manhattan. Not only was the office pretty amazing, two levels, white desks that resembled what I could only describe as picnic tables meant for 15-20 professionals to work together, walls made from chalk boards and a kitchen that resembled an old-school 50’s diner, but, what really stuck out was a lack of “offices”. No, or hardly any, doors. A conference room encapsulated by glass. Without all those extra walls, that only produce an unwelcoming vibe from those behind the doors, there was plenty of room to move around, walk over to someone instead of picking up the phone (ah, that community thing again) and calling them, a breeze even! Moreover, there were designated areas for different departments, meeting places, and even a ping-pong table. Without utilizing the space to its maximum capacity, the ping-pong table would not exist.
Trend Number 4: Hire a Professional
And not for the reason you’re thinking. Professionals are great for a number of things, the two most likened to the office environment are organization experts and design experts.
Let’s start with organization experts. Just like before, utilizing space to its maximum capacity has a lot to do with how offices are organized. Clutter it not cute. Sleek is cute. Additionally, file cabinets are not what they used to be. While many of the new companies are trying to stay green by electronically filing, many, if they have to use actual filing cabinets, go for a more camouflaged look. So camouflaged in some cases that instead of keeping these hard-copies in the office, businesses are choosing to keep them in storage right from the get-go and only access them when absolutely necessary.
Now, the design experts. In many industries, for example restaurants or high-fashion boutiques, experts are brought in to design the spaces. Colors, motifs, styles, etc. Office spaces are now jumping on the band wagon to have professionals come in a design the spaces layout, furniture, colors and more. While a community environment is great, it is still nice to have your “own space”, and many time professionals can best find the line that comes directly down the middle.
So, what does all of this have to do with real estate? Tons of people who are seeking office space, whether it be a completely new office, relocation or expansion, are looking to us, the real estate professionals, to find spaces that can best encapsulate the trends listed above. More and more, spaces that were not deemed, or even zoned, for office space are being transformed and used as such in order to accommodate the desired environment listed above. That’s where you come in!