Desks and workspaces are increasingly smaller, and personal offices are becoming less common, as companies are shedding their hard dollar, real estate costs by increasing workplace density and squeezing more employees into less space – particular in expensive urban markets. CoreNet Global recently found the average amount of space per office worker in New York City was about 120 square feet per employee in 2015, down from 225 square feet per employee in 2010.
Thus, office amenities and services are quickly becoming the desired building features of tomorrow. “The office of the future will operate much like a full-service hotel, with the sleeping rooms swapped out for desks and workspace,” said Christopher Kelly, co-founder and president of Convene at the Convene Summit: Office of the Future event.
Fitness & wellness centers, swimming pools, dry cleaning services, and gourmet chefs on-demand will become the new, generational expectation of the knowledge worker within a sharing economy. “Amenitized office buildings are how landlords compete to meet the new demands of forward-thinking tenants,” adds Kelly.
Design firm Ted Moudis Associates is focusing on creating more authentic ‘communities’ within office buildings. “By incorporating hotel rooms and retail spaces into office buildings, we are able to help employees feel more connected to their outside lives,” said Jacqueline Barr, IIDA, LEED AP & Design Principal.
Kelly believes commercial real estate will need to become laser-focused on the tenant experience.
“In the office of the future, services such as catering can be ordered from a centralized commissary and brought to your office or meeting [office room service], all of which will be orchestrated by a landlord [or landlord partner],” he said.
Landlords are starting to become (often by partnering with others) more hospitality-oriented, as evidenced by Tishman Speyer’s recent launch of Zo, a program that offers amenities in office buildings mirroring ones offered in Silicon Valley startups. This marks an important workplace paradigm shift, whereby the commercial real estate industry is not only playing a role in leasing services for tenants, but also in better design, hospitality, and technology services as well. Those who can effectively provide on-demand spaces and corporate services with five-star hotel-like experiences are ultimately the ones who can serve what office tenants truly want when they seek their next lease arrangement.
See more about how Convene thinks about the upcoming disruption in commercial real estate in our recent recording: