Back in the day, the vice president of a moderately sized company could count on getting at minimum a 12×15 office. These days, he (or she!) might have to be satisfied merely having four walls and a door. Office size is on the way out as a way of determining relative corporate clout. In fact, following the example of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, even having an office is a sign of outdated thinking.
Space is an increasingly dear commodity, too, for the rank and file white collar workers all across corporate America. Businesses used to provide 500 to 700 square feet of work space per employee, but the average is down to 200 square feet — and shrinking, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing a study by Peter Miscovich of real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
Real estate prices and corporate belt tightening certainly are major drivers in this trend. But other trends are playing a part, too. In some respects it’s generational. “Many companies are emphasizing teamwork, and younger employees accustomed to working anywhere but at a desk are turning up their noses at the hierarchical formality of traditional offices. In addition, familiar technologies such as laptop computers, cellphones and videoconferencing are finally beginning to affect the way offices are laid out,” says the Times.
As businesses adapt to new ways of thinking and being productive, working spaces need to adapt, too. At Leslie Saul & Associates, we know how to create a space that’s flexible, liberating and encourages fruitful collaboration.
And more change is on the way, apparently. “It may take us another 30 years to fully engage and adapt with mobility, [but] the mobile Internet may be bigger than electricity as a technological advancement,” Miscovich says.
We can’t wait.