While current employment rates are finally moving ahead of where they were pre-recession, the Wall Street Journal reports employers remain skittish about expanding. And, boy – is there room to expand into. The same article cites 142 million square feet of office space was vacated during and after the recession and to date, only about 52 percent of that space has been recovered.
We wonder if a burgeoning economic marketplace will ever require the same amount of brick-and-mortar office space anyway. As is the case with most traumatic events, the 2008 recession forced business owners, management and employees to re-think how and where they work, which inspired a rebooting of workplace design. The recession, plus innovation in the form of smart technology/gadgets, has allowed much of the same work to take place without anyone showing up regularly to traditional office spaces.
As more professionals opt to work from home, and more businesses have chosen to set their employees free of the typical office space paradigm, there is less of a need for Monday – Friday office space. Businesses are taking creative steps to rethink how their offices function. That being said, companies still need spaces for employees to collaborate, meet with clients or commune in person to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Perhaps the remaining 48 percent of post-recession office space vacancies will be used by companies like Boston’s Geek Offices, providing work spaces that can be rented and used by businesses and professionals on an as-needed basis. Another idea is to shift real estate costs to the employees who work from wherever? What do you think?
Is your company ready to rethink your workplace design? There are all kinds of ways to expand your business creatively and we can help you do it. Schedule a consultation with LS&A Architecture and Interiors and let’s start brainstorming.