2022 – The Year of Workspace Evolution

The workforce is constantly evolving – something that has been exceptionally showcased over the last two years. People have become accustomed to thinking outside of the traditional cubicle or office space as the demand for remote and hybrid work becomes widespread. With this, people across all industries– and across the globe– are seeking work environments that better accommodate highly sought-after work-life balance. 

We are at a unique crossroads, and there is an opportunity to transform what was once a traditional office space into something brand new. At the heart of driving revenue is placemaking – transforming old, outdated workspaces into a desirable location for fresh talent. Employers are having to ask, “How can we create a workplace that beats the home office when people are choosing where to work?” 


The Value of Placemaking in the Office

Placemaking has taken over the core of driving revenue in the current state of our workforce. Older office buildings that lack modern amenities can be redesigned to meet the current needs of the market. When individuals seek new jobs, especially those that are completely office-based or have in-office components, they are looking for opportunities that provide a productive, innovative and positive working environment. It is becoming more normal for offices to have additional amenities – meeting rooms, wellness spaces, collaborative workspaces and more. 

Company culture and the workplace are tied closely together, often working hand in hand to impact an individual’s productivity. When it comes to reshaping or transforming an existing office space, people should be at the center of focus. Through placemaking, companies have the opportunity to let their space create a community within their teams. Individuals are attracted to workspaces that encompass their entire self, not just their professional self. They are looking at surroundings that inspire. Whether it is an area to decompress, an area to collaborate with other team members on new ideas or a space to take time and hone in on their tasks alone – it’s about options.

According to BOMA Magazine’s article Placemaking and the redefined office environment, the trend in the way we view office space “is a reflection of the way work is evolving into a largely collaborative concept with people moving from space to space depending on the nature of their work that day, encouraging the chance encounters that foster ideas and providing ample space and flexibility for heads-down or teamwork.’”

Having options is a clear theme arising out of this trend shift. While 55% of employees who work in the office report having high energy throughout the day compared to those who come into the office less frequently, 74% of employees also reported that their experience at work is more positive when having a choice about where they can work, whether that’s in-office or from a remote location. 

Making the office a desirable place to be is a key factor to driving productivity, energy and experience. However, adding amenities and features is not a one-size-fits-all solution to inspiring talent to return to the office setting. When determining ways to improve workspace, it is important to consider the amenities that will provide the greatest value to employees. For some companies, spaces for collaboration are key, while for others, it may not be as beneficial. Start with the purpose of the space, and determine the best design solutions to help employees achieve their goals. 

Placemaking not only provides value for employers/occupiers but commercial real estate owners. According to the Brookings Institute, it has been reported that placemaking and place-based investments have increased occupancy rates and property values by $3.2 billion in commercial buildings between 2008 and 2019. 

At Cushman & Wakefield | Sage Partners, our team is passionate about making Arkansas the ideal place to live, work and play, and that includes reshaping antiquated spaces into new, vibrant places that attract and retain top talent for employers and adds value for owners. Whether you are an owner or an employer/occupier, let us help you make smart decisions for your business, your employees and your real estate. Connect with us today: https://www.sagepartners.com/contact/

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