We’ve noticed a shift over the course of the last year in the way that our clients use office space. It’s been subtle, but as we walk through the halls today, we can see a trend in the way that our clients are working. We’re a curious bunch, so we started calling some of our friends in the business center industry to pick their brains and hitting the web to do some research as to what’s really going on.
There’s no doubt that advances in technology have made workers more productive, and able to do much more than ever before during their work day. But technology has also impacted the physical foot print that employees require in their workspaces. Think about it … fifteen years ago, before documents were scanned and stored in a cloud, physical files, paper and filing cabinets were necessary at every employee work station. As I sit at my desk today, all I really need in order to work is my laptop. I can print to a networked printer and my paper trails are stored digitally on my computer (and backed up on Dropbox). It’s really incredible how little space I need in order to work.
In 2010, North American offices averaged 225 square feet per worker. During 2012, that number dropped to 176 square feet. Any guesses what square footage workers will require this year, in 2017? Try 151 square feet on for size according to CoreNet Global’s predictions. Today’s firms are adamant about maximizing the efficiency of their office space, and while this has been the case in Europe for the past several years, America is finally following suit.
One of the main reasons for the decline in the amount of square footage needed per employee is the rise in collaborative and team-focused spaces within an office. This is incredibly apparent in the business center industry today, and we notice more and more of our clients picking up their laptop and heading to the atrium for some natural light and a sandwich while they work away. These community areas have been created at the expense of larger employee offices, but they’ve allowed employees to more easily work in groups and network with each other.
And while we have a variety of offices at TOTUS, that vary in size, we too have noticed that our clients are requiring less square footage than ever before. Former offices that housed one person for years are now being used for two employees who are able to collaborate more readily. We can’t wait to see how office space use continues to evolve in the next few years.
What have you experienced throughout your career?