It is a burgeoning reality that our office buildings are ever evolving, as the expectations for what a workspace should entail are changing. The ethos driving many of the innovations that we are seeing is an emphasis on community, openness, and flexibility, and we can only assume that change will be the only constant going forward.
Though it is frequently said that the millennial generation is not easily understood by those who have gone before, it is increasingly becoming necessary to make room in the job market for this segment of the population. Employers are becoming more open to the needs of their younger employees, and this is revolutionizing the way we do business.
As new protocols develop and become time tested, we will see standards change, as office buildings are built to reflect the preferences of their inhabitants. This has and will only continue to affect how financing is obtained for these edifices, as financial institutions will want to see a viable plan for attracting tenants and, thus, obtaining a stable form of income.
Architectural Features In Newer Structures
It can no longer be assumed that firms will only continue to conduct business as usual. Staples such as the cubicle where a person can be walled off from his or her associates are no longer the norm in newer office spaces. This actually translates into a smaller square footage allotment to each worker, but it can be assumed that the area saved in this regard will be put to use in other, more communal, ways.
Developers may also be able to incorporate building lots previously unusable due to their inability to house large parking lots. In urban areas, the amount of people applying for driver’s licenses is decreasing dramatically, as significant numbers of people are opting to ride bicycles or to catch a ride from Uber or Lyft. The use of street parking, local garages, and carpooling also is rendering parking lots to be more modest.
Telecommuting is becoming more widespread, as employees are able to complete their tasks from the comfort of their living rooms, and this means that time together is spent differently on the days when co-workers converge. It is often a time to exchange ideas and strategically plan the next steps. The office buildings built with this understanding in mind will better cater to the needs of real-world businesses in the 21st century.
As the workforce increasingly accommodates the number of millennials in the job market, employers will enjoy greater success attracting top talent with design features that highlight connectivity. People want lightning quick access to answers and to the people most capable of producing results. Fast internet is a must as are open areas with ergonomic seating choices and biophilic elements.
Scientific studies show that creativity and wellbeing are bolstered when people can view nature directly or when greenery is allowed to grow on walls, in troughs, or in pots placed in hallways or in corners. Natural light is important as well, and large windows and skylights can help foster a sense of wellness. High ceilings and the absence of walls allow interactions to flow freely, and game areas and lounges help create a relaxing, collaborative working atmosphere.
Younger workers also enjoy fountains or other setups that employ moving water, healthy food choices, bicycle parking, environmentally-conscious energy sources, curved l-shaped desks that provide seating for multiple people, nap rooms, modern artwork, and attention to a chic aesthetic. It is also not uncommon for developers to rent the same customizable workspaces to various organizations looking to meet together sporadically on a schedule.
It will be important to communicate the vision and structure for projects in a manner that is clear and that reduces complex ideas down to their most basic and easily understood concepts. There is an art to presentations of this nature, and your company will benefit immensely from seeking a third party to act in an advisory role.
Fidelman & Co. specializes in management consulting, presentation advisory, and financial modeling. We focus on building businesses alongside entrepreneurs and investors. Contact us today for more information about what we can do for you.