Recently, I attended the Area Development Consultants Forum in St. Louis. The two-day conference was filled with helpful sessions, but the most impactful discussion for me surrounded the future of office space, led by Cushman & Wakefield’s Sara Benson.
Sara noted four trends that are likely to change what our office spaces will soon look like:
- Co-location will grow: As the startup community becomes a bigger part of our economy, expect to find more co-location spaces like those you see in incubators and accelerators.
- Spaces will be people-centric: Gone are the days of giant, windowless offices. New buildings will include access to green space, natural light and spaces that inspire workers.
- Change in space may mean change in culture: As companies merge or split, they can use that opportunity to alter company culture. This can mean anything from an upgraded design to a completely new brand identity.
- Beautiful spaces benefit employees: Just as we currently consider access to healthcare and vacation days benefits, beautiful workspaces are equally important. Companies should expect their employees to consider how workspaces impact them when making job decisions.
These trends are to be expected as the workforce grows and changes. The rise of telecommuting and the “gig economy” means companies may have fewer employees in their offices on a day-to-day basis – and will shift their workspaces to meet those changing needs.
Sara’s parting thought also stuck with me – if you want to know where the growth will happen, look to where the millennials are moving.