While it is tempting to make jokes about fridges full of beer and replacing chairs with beanbags, it’s undeniable that the biggest trends we are seeing in commercial offices across the world have an ever-growing focus on quality and employee wellbeing.

When it comes to choosing their future place of work, job hunters are no longer just looking at ‘the firm’ and its reputation. Instead, they are looking at the whole package that a company has to offer, from welfare provision to options for flexible working. At the top of their consideration list is the layout and amenities offered in the workspace. Inspired by the big names in company workplace culture, like Google and Apple, people want to know that they’re going to enjoy being in their workspace environment.

WeWork, the shared workspace network, is an example of one client who Gleeds has been working with closely that is leading the way in flexible workplaces. Their insight is that organisations are now willing to pay more for the privilege of a small space, demonstrated by their worldwide success.

But this shift in commercial space has not come out of nowhere. According to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, traditional desk spaces are now only occupied for 30 – 45% of the working day. Companies like Regus have been working on innovative office design for decades, but we are now seeing a more future-focussed and millennial-influenced approach to workspaces. These organisations are taking old and tired buildings and focusing almost entirely on the interior space, providing exposed surfaces and a wider range of breakout spaces, as opposed to rows of desks.

A common fear amongst many when they first changed their workspace set-ups was that people working off their laptops on a sofa would not work as hard as those at desks. Despite this, almost all of our clients who have made this shift in approach to the office environment have had very positive results.  This experience is not uncommon, and is one that is becoming the norm for many organisations –although fridges and beanbags aren’t always guaranteed.

Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney
Regional Director, London

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