Workplace Strategies

We hosted the first in a series of Client Roundtable discussions last week.  The venue was City Winery, and the topic was Workplace Strategies.  Lenny Beaudoin who heads up CBRE's Workplace Strategy Practice was the guest speaker and led a great conversation.  The clients included real estate decision makers from industries including pharmaceutical, insurance, accounting, legal and entertainment. The ideas below were notes that I took during the discussion:

- The workplace is where we curate experiences to drive productivity.

- Activity-based workspaces are driving productivity and increasing attendance in the office.

- The Millennials are the largest demographic group since the Baby Boomers.  Will Millennials force change in the workplace or will they adhere to the standards of the past? The smart money is on the former.

- One of the participants works for a company that has almost 1,100 vice presidents.  Of those, only two sit in open space and the rest are in private offices.  That's a lot of closed door and that will change dramatically going forward.

- One of the participants described the office environment as a place they want people to choose to come to on daily basis.  With the ability to work from anywhere, employees are voting with their feet, but companies think that the interactions between employees is invaluable.

- By 2020, 50% of the workforce will be contracted employees.

- Landlords will have to adapt to new space standards and requirements or face vacant buildings.

- Landlords should be scared of how companies adapted during and after Hurricane Sandy.  Very scared.  Companies figured out how to operate remotely, shift functions to other markets, and work from home.  Basically, they figured out how to do business without being in the office.

How are your companies adapting to changing work environments?  What do you think the future will bring?  As discussed in a earlier blog, I know they are coming for my office, but after last week's discussion, I am much more open to the concept.  After all, if we are going to advise our clients on how to best utilize their space, we should lead by example, right?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on changing work environments and how you feel about the changes you are seeing.

JN