No matter what business you are in, you snooze, you lose. Concepts, space, location—it’s all dynamic, always moving around. You must keep your finger on the pulse at all times because the market is always in flux.
How Office Space Is Changing
Office space design is changing rapidly. Here are some examples:
- Co-working concepts like Roam and WeWork accommodate small business needs.
- Start-up incubators help young entrepreneurs launch business ideas.
- Large companies opt for high-density, free-form office space.
- Office design and needs for law firms shift drastically.
- Proximity to transit and highway accessibility become more important.
- Traditional office layouts become obsolete; older office buildings are re-imagined.
Going back to urbanist Richard Florida’s idea of the creative class discussed in an earlier blog, the idea to mingle different disciplines in the same space to create synergy is gaining traction. This trend and changes in technology have a profound impact on office space design, which is being manifested in several ways:
Co-Working Office Space
One of the newest trends is co-working office space.
- With locations in Alpharetta, Buckhead, Dunwoody and the Galleria, you may have noticed a Roam somewhere near you. Marketed as an “innovator’s workplace” for the “new workforce,” Roam buys into the multi-discipline, shared-space synergy concept of working.
- Another co-working space entering the Atlanta market is WeWork. An international company, WeWork’s motto is: “To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.”
- Even office retail giant Staples is getting in on the co-working action. Staples teamed with a Boston co-working company to open Workbar, a shared working space located within select Staples stores and including office space, conference rooms and secure Wi-Fi connectivity.
Business Incubators | Entrepreneurial Centers
Start-ups are proliferating. Therefore, building owners are creating hubs where entrepreneurs can develop business plans without significant investment in office space. The landlord delivers office space plus business consulting services to encourage the entrepreneur’s success. The Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead is an example of this model. Non-technical businesses are also testing this concept.
Free-Flowing Flex Space
Best for companies whose employees work in teams, free-flowing office space consists of open floor plans with high-tech cubicles or plug-in work stations rather than private offices. This design concept lends itself to adaptive reuse of warehouse buildings with few existing walls. This modern design enables companies to reposition staff as project demands change.
Law Firm Office Design
For decades, law firms have been a major player in the Atlanta office market. Often, law firms move to a new building rather than upfit their existing space. With consolidation of local firms; mergers with national and international firms; and electronic filing and storage; the current needs of law firms have drastically shifted. This change constitutes a boon for office developers who can build a new building around a law firm as anchor tenant. However, a law firm’s relocation can result in a significant leasing challenge for the owner of the vacated building.
Obsolete Office Buildings
This exact scenario (of the law firm exit) has led to creative repurposing of old office buildings. Sometimes buildings 30 years or older are just obsolete and their location now demands other uses, in many instances, high density residential with supportive retail.
What’s Your Story?
Office building owners need to know their target market and adapt office space to meet the market’s specific needs. Modifying paint, carpet, and a few walls will not get the job done. Office users now have the luxury of multiple concepts with significant cost variations and the flexibility to adapt their space as their needs change.
What is your office design like? Do you like it? Is your company trending with the concepts identified in this blog?