Forbes magazine recently reported that by 2020, the average number of square feet of workspace provided by companies to each employee will be reduced to 150 from the current 400.
The downsizing of office space comes as corporations respond to trends that see more and more employees working remotely. The latest figures show that as of 2016, a surprising 60 percent of employees aren’t even using the amount of space that has been assigned to them.
The shrinking of corporations also coincides with companies courting the younger, creative worker who has a more collaborative attitude and is more willing to give up some personal space in exchange for enhanced amenities in the shared space.
For human resources professionals, the challenge of meeting the expectations for large private offices of an older generation with demands from younger workers for casual shared space for eating, working out, and sharing ideas, remains a challenge.
Traditional thinking still predominates many managers, with the concept of keeping ensured every worker under one roof for maximum production remaining strong. But it is giving way to other options as companies realize to keep the talent they need, they have to adjust.
Increasingly, the number of companies who previously ensured that every single worker had an identical work space are giving way to companies offering workers choices. At Exxon Mobile, for example, in some locations workers are offered a style of furniture that can be configured in different ways to suit their preferences.
Overall, more companies are acknowledging that while some people work better in private cubicles, others produce more in rooms like lounges and cafeterias.
The Commercial Real Estate Development Association in the United States reports that another trend is to build workspaces around new technologies and employee needs and move away from the idea of the corporate headquarters as a company monument.
Younger workers are also asking for transit-friendly or walkable locations and for mixed-used rooms instead of massive corner offices. Still others want to be able to work at home most days of the week, but to come in and feel at home when they are called to meetings.
Managing remote workers, ensuring the needs of both traditional and non-traditional thinkers in the workplace are respected, and finding a comfortable blend of share space with private space where people who need to concentrate can still get away to do it will be a challenge in the next decade.
For human resources professionals asked to weigh in on the subject in terms of employee morale, flexibility will remain the name of the game.
For more information on modern workspaces, contact SkyPrep today!