The transition from closed-door offices and cubicles to shared or flex office space is a well-established trend. Even now, scooters and skateboards demonstrate the radical change in how people move within office spaces. Today’s office space is embracing individual identities and social communication as a means to enhance worker productivity and satisfaction. Regardless of the change, space planning remains conscious of capital and operational costs. So, where do we look for the next trends in space planning that will continuously improve returns per square foot and retain a quality workforce.
|Appricot Headquarters, photo credit: Igor|
|LOOP Creative Agency, photo credit: Michael|
|Oxigen, designer: Oxigen with Woods Bagot, photo credit: David Sievers|
In the age of the mobile internet, developers should look to what mobile employees do when they leave the secured office environment, while continuing to work collaboratively. Outside of the office, the next drop down space is generally uncontrolled and unsupervised by the employer. Where do they go? Are they in cafés, at kitchen tables, at parks, on couches, or in airport lounges? Mobile workers can surprise us with how they stay connected and productive. Ubiquitous Internet and cloud storage allow mobile workers to personalize their most productive work-life space during all hours of the day.
The next evolution of hoteling may look more like “co-working” spaces that incorporate common areas and retail spaces within a development. This evolution is the idea that “semi-secure” tenant space, common areas, retail, and amenity spaces can, within a development, be opened to multiple tenants and visitors. Food service space in commercial districts is already a mobile worker offload to office square footage. The opportunity is to satisfy tenants' needs and reduce operational costs within their primary footprint. Developers can design retail and common areas that offer productive co-working space. The financial opportunity for developers is to use interior design investment to compete for today’s bottom-line conscious tenants, while appealing to a balanced lifestyle. Like co-working spaces, developers may also be able to sell memberships to multiple tenants into co-working square footage, even to their authorized vendors and guests. A fully integrated design may encourage a café tenant to have its service counter open to an airport lounge style work area that is accessible to member tenants.
|Makers, a co-working space in Seattle; design + photo credit: Caitlin Agnew & Lana Morisoli|
|Google UK Campus, designer: Jump Studios|