People are largest asset … engage don’t isolate

This week I attended the Bisnow event entitled “Future of Office & The Creative Workplace” at the Washington Convention Center.  The event centered on panel discussions of the changing office environment.  Panelist included individuals from the architectural, furniture, tech industry, building owners, developers and real estate professionals.

Here is some of what I got out of the event.

A corporation’s largest and best asset is their people.  Because employee costs are 5 to 10 times that of the corporate real estate costs, offices are evolving to no longer be just people holders.  The office environment is quickly becoming experienced base, rather than a place to go and put your head down and work.  It is the work-home-play concept taking hold.

Sounds expensive, but good design can add more value than cost.  Open plans, less hard walls, more collaborative or “collision” space.  Another buzz word is cognitive ergonomics; space and furniture designed for how you move.  Sit to stand desks; more meeting space than offices.  Space designed to engage not isolate.  Design is no longer from the top down, executive offices with amenities that may trickle down to the general population.  Today’s work environment encompasses every level of the workforce designed to retain and encourage, not isolate and discourage.

Commercial Office Building design is evolving to capture amenities to be shared with the building tenants verses each company developing their own.  Amenities like conferencing centers and fitness centers and bike storage rooms. This relieves the tenant of the need for additional square footage. Costs then become shared with all the tenants.  The result is increased core factors while reducing tenant footprints.   This new approach to building design is slowly migrating its way from the urban to suburban markets.

With lease terms trending to be shorter, tenant retention is becoming a priority giving landlords a greater incentive to provide these amenity rich buildings.

More to come . . .


Sandy Collins
REALTOR®, Commercial