Commercial real estate: offices being redefined by shared spaces

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Commercial real estate: offices being redefined by shared spaces

img_16-150x150The owners of commercial real estate once thought the ideal office was one that could seat the most people. Ideas about what makes an office efficient are being reshaped by technology. The owners of commercial properties have created new efficiencies by the incorporation of shared spaces.

A recent study by the architecture firm, Ted Moudis Associates , uncovered how offices are being transformed by shared spaces. The group analyzed 2.4 million square feet of recent office construction and found of these offices expanded in terms of shared spaces, but not in terms of assigned seats. The study found that the size of the average workstation has not increased; however the average employee “seat” has grown in size from 142 to 165 square feet over the past year. An employee “seat,” includes assigned workstations as well as conference rooms, informal living rooms and kitchen areas.

Orion LLC stands at the forefront of this trend with workers at the company able to adjust their individual work settings according to a specific mood or purpose. Orion’s established policy is that employees should not sit in the same area everyday. The new offices of the Boston Consulting Group was also considered in the study. The groups Manhattan-based office includes intimate conversation nooks, in formal living room settings, huddle rooms and a café area which gives free food to employees. “Many of our clients are trying to understand what kind of experience the space is creating for their employee base,”said Johnathan Sandler who helped design the group’s new offices, “ if your employees feel 10% happier with the workplace, that could have a bigger impact on the bottom line than a 5% reduction in square footage.”

In the future efficient commercial real estate will make use of flexible spaces.

Now employers main concern is the improvement of the employee experience. ““Five to 10 years ago it was all about how many people can I get in this space,” said Jamie Feuerborn, associate director of workplace at Ted Moudis. “Now some of that efficiency is a given, and everyone from the top level executive down is focused on the employee experience.” Future office construction will focus on the addition of communal spaces which allow employees to determine how and where they work. Still the average employee spends 60 to 65% of their day at an assigned desk. The addition of flexible spaces allows enables employees to continue working when they are away from their desk and thereby improves the efficiency of the office as a whole.

The owners of commercial real estate should design offices around employees.

New offices must adapt the way employees actually use a space. The addition of flexible spaces is not merely a way to maximize the square footage in an office. “These agile programs are only successful when they say, ‘We’re going to take away the desk but give you the flexibility of three environments to work in, rather than be locked into one,’” said Brent Capron, interior design director for Perkins+Will’s New York studio. “You need to find a business reason to put people in the open. It can’t just be a real estate decision.”

Dennis Dahlberg
Level 4 Funding LLC  Private Hard Money Lender
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About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

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