Sketch of open office design of the future

 

The way we look at office design is changing, as the old-school office space just won’t work for the businesses of tomorrow. To help you better understand how changes in technology, market dynamics, and even brain science will drive the workspace of the future, we’ve gathered some of the latest reading from around the globe:

  • After decades of increasing numbers of remote workers, companies like IBM, Aetna, Yahoo, and Best Buy are bringing workers back to the office. Why? It seems that while telecommuting works well for individual producers, for teams that need to collaborate, more is lost in working apart than was first apparent. But are these companies calling employees back to an old way of working or a new one? Read more at The Atlantic.
  • Anthony Mitchell compares the office of the future to our current smartphones, and advocates for workspaces that are scrollable, swipe-able, and customizable. As technology transforms how people use physical office environments, Mitchell argues, we increasingly look for “non-9-to-5” experiences that improve our connection to work and performance. Read more at Business Insider.
  • Are flexible workspace providers like IWG (formerly Regus) and WeWork on the tip of a major expansion as predicted by JLL? Or does the industry have a major built-in flaw — leasing commercial real estate for long periods and then selling it for short periods — that leaves it especially vulnerable to business cycle downturns? Read more at Bisnow from IWG’s CEO, Mark Dixon.
  • The traditional debate over closed offices or open floor plans is now expanding to encompass the right kind of space for the variety of different types of work activities that people do every day — from planned meetings to individual-focused work to collaborating to break time. Giving employees more choice over their workplace leads to higher innovation, job performance, and workplace satisfaction. Read more at Inc.
  • Of course no round-up of the future would be complete without a discussion of Millennials (and even Gen Z-ers). So how will the office of tomorrow reflect the expectations and demands of younger workers? It’s not just ping pong tables and bean bag chairs: from the seamless integration of home and work to BYOD policies and WELL building standards, workforce shifts are transforming the future of the commercial real estate industry. Read more on VTS.

Brock Ray is Director of Marketing and Business Development for PlanForce.

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