THE VALUE OF OFFICE SPACE: Avoiding Rash Decisions in an Uncertain Time

THE VALUE OF OFFICE SPACE

AVOIDING RASH DECISIONS IN AN UNCERTAIN TIME.

Panelists:

Randy Thomas, Abbott

Roger Sola-Sole, sshape

Kelly Barllow, The Clearing

Eric West, West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors

AFTER THE SUCCESS OF #REMOTEWORK FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD, MANY ARE LEFT WONDERING, IS OFFICE SPACE STILL NECESSARY?

Even with companies executing quick, costly modifications to account for social distancing, reducing the spread of disease, and encouraging the workforce to return to the physical office, a vast majority of the workforce are still left uncertain.

On Tuesday June 23rd, Abbott’s Principal, Randy Thomas, shared some insights alongside a panel of cross-sector office space and real estate experts. The discussion unveiled a myriad of shortcomings, becoming widely apparent in the virtual office environment. 

Here is a few highlights from their discussion.

WHAT ARE THE TRUE ADVANTAGES OF WORKING IN THE OFFICE?

  • CREATING VALUE THROUGH INNOVATION. “In office, working together face to face sparks that creativity, which yields innovation.”
  • HUMAN QUALITY OF WORK. “The idea that we need personal connection every day, to be able to do our job effectively. There is this inability to have a quick, impromptu conversation, so the creative process really suffers! what we need when going back to the’new normal’ in office space, is to reinstate that social culture.”
  • EMPATHY-SEEING THE WELL-BEING OF STAFF. “The office brings a place where you can draw near to the staff and work through struggles together”
  • DISPLAYING OFFICE CULTURE.EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION

HOW DO WE PLAN THE LONG-TERM WORKPLACE WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS?

  • HAVING TWO PARALLEL ENVIRONMENTS. “How do people want to use their space? It is also looking at quantitative data, looking at HR, how often are people in the office? Is there a way to book conference rooms and desks?”
  • THE IDEA OF 9-5 WORKDAYS IS THROWN OUT. “May be that people do heads down work at home in the morning, and come into the office around 10 for teamwork and collaboration. And then at round 4, do a couple hours of work from home, when they get around to it.”
  • HYBRID STYLE OF WORKDAYS. “In some ways reinvent it (how we use the office space), but in some way also alight in more”

WHAT PLACE WILL TECHNOLOGY HAVE IN THE OFFICE OF CORPORATE REAL ESTATE?

  • SPOT. “Spot is a robotic dog we’re deploying, that will collect the data of a site, we can put through a digital twin”
  • PROVIDING EMPLOYEES WITH THE RIGHT WORK FROM HOME TOOLS. “a laptop doesnt really help with creative side, or people that do analysis, that require dual monitors.”
  • PROCESSES THAT NEED TO SHIFT. “Those things that people don’t think about a lot, like mail. Who is going to be at the office to receive it, open it etc?”

IS OUR OFFICE SPACE NOW OBSOLETE?

  • WE STILL WANT TO PROMOTE COLLABORATIVE SPACES. “We’re going to want more meeting places and collaborative spaces.”
  • REDUCTION IN SPACE. “I don’t think we’ll see a 50% reduction in space, I think we might see a 15% or 20% reduction in office space.”
  • THOSE PEOPLE WITH THE OPEN MORE FLEXIBLE SPACE HAVE THE ADVANTAGE. “What is it that people are coming into the office to do, and providing that variety necessary.”

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