As the cost of commercial real estate continues to rise, and small and medium-sized companies look for good lease options, the landscape of the corporate work environment is changing. Companies have progressively downsized to accommodate for higher leasing costs. Innovative ideas like the open office have come and gone, and there is even more change on the horizon. The best office space is that which is designed to best serve employees - based on who they are and what they do. While this may sound easy enough to accomplish, it’s really not. To keep up with trends and the most creative ideas in office areas, companies need the assistance of skilled tenant representatives to help them land the perfect space.
Determine Need Before Redesigning
Cutting costs by reducing office space has become a major trend in recent years. This is somewhat responsible for the sudden popularity of the open office; however, this plan is not best for all employees. There is a definite need for other solutions as well, but this requires research to determine what the requirements are for a company’s work space. Understanding what a company does, who its employees are, and employee work habits play a part in determining what a company’s actual needs are for office space. Keeping updated on recent office design trends plays its part as well. Today, there are many innovative ideas for work spaces that not only keep employees happy, but provide a number of other important benefits.
Current Trends in Office Redesign
Following are some of the things that are trending in today's commercial real estate:
- Flexibility - Even though this has not worked for some, the premise of the open office is a good one. With a little re-thinking, open offices can become even more efficient. The importance is taking advantage of the flexibility these spaces offer, and allowing them to provide what employees, both as a group and as individuals, need. With open, collaborative spaces, along with some private spaces, and the technology that enables employees to remain efficient, companies can achieve great productivity in the smallest space possible.
- Sustainability - More businesses than ever are going green. This is important when considering office redesign. For example, paperless offices require less storage space, but more electrical receptacles and wireless connections. Going green also includes the idea of promoting better health through the use of safer, more ergonomic equipment, and energy-efficient offices that save money on heating, cooling and electricity.
- Re-purposed Space - Another cost-effective, green and flexible trend in office space is the re-purposing of older buildings, or buildings initially built for another use. These spaces can often be leased very reasonably. With the skill of talented tenant representatives, odd spaces can be turned into productive spaces, and everyone wins.
- Sharing Spaces - Other options include sub-leasing extra space from companies occupying larger buildings, or renting space in equipped buildings designed for sharing by many small organizations. It does not take much to convert these spaces into places that fit any small company’s work space needs. There are also the added benefits of no maintenance, included amenities, and sometimes even shared hardware or other expensive IT components.
Today, the best ideas in commercial real estate and office leasing are more focused on making affordable spaces work as needed, than they are about finding one space that does it all. Companies working with skilled tenant representatives have many more options available to them than they may think. As long as a company is able to envision new ideas, tenant reps can show them how common or unwanted space can become the perfect space by focusing on function, sustainability, and employee health, along with happiness and productivity!