6 Office and Industrial Industry Trends for 2020

I am writing today about 6 office and industrial industry trends for 2020 and beyond.  Please feel free to comment below with other industry trends that you would like to read about.

Trend #1:  Furniture.  Should it stay or should it go?

With the demand of temporary co-working spaces, the office furniture is leased and stays when the tenant leaves.  Therefore, the move is essentially contents and equipment with very little furniture moving.

On the flip side, the economy is doing well and businesses have begun expanding or moving to bigger spaces.  The demand to furnish new workspaces has increased, which in turn has increased the demand for storage. Or many are opting to have their current furniture liquidated, donated, recycled or disposed of.

Trend #2:  Open-Plan Office Spaces

One of the latest trends for the office, is that people are not working in designated workstations (offices or cubicles). They are working in open-plan office spaces.  But instead of creating an atmosphere of face to face collaboration, it has created the opposite effect.  In fact, a 2018 study by “Harvard Business School found that open offices reduce face-to-face interaction by about 70% and increase email and messaging by roughly 50%.”  Please engage your employees and ask their preference before deciding to move to open-plan spaces.

Hot desking is another trend where several employees use the same work station for different time periods. This often used in major cities where real estate prices are high or in office environments with flexible employee schedules.

Daylockers for open office or coworking spacesBy taking down the walls, often means taking away storage. Where do employees store their stuff? Locker walls are looking to be the way to go for storage solutions in the future.  Day-Use Lockers provide a secure place for employees to store their personal items and office supplies when they are not in the office.

Trend #3:  Co-Working Space

Besides the pending buy out of WeWork, co-working spaces have been taking the office space rental by storm over the last decade.  In a 2018 Knight Frank report, there are approximately 18,000 co-working spaces (shared work spaces) worldwide, housing 1.7 million workers in the US.

These spaces are designed to increase productivity and connecting workers to each other.  To essentially “create a workplace community that brings people together to connect and share ideas.”   Co-working allows business owners a flexible cost-effective space to work.  Likewise, the study found that tenants are more interested in flexibility and amenities. As such, these shared work-spaces offer amenities such as hoteling stations, private conference rooms, sound proof phone booths, quiet pods, kitchens, and other amenities.

Let’s not forget about the “hoteling” approach, where employees have no permanent assigned work desk. They simply choose from an open workstation or collaborative space that suits their needs and start working.

 Trend #4:  Employee Engagement/Culture

Likewise with the trend of open offices, also comes the activity-based work spaces. Breakout zones are becoming more popular, and a first-class beverage service is now expected as the norm.  The 2017 Leesman Index, found that 82% of respondents said that tea, coffee and refreshment facilities were very important for their office culture.

Trend #5:  Innovation/Technology

Technology is helping businesses quickly adapt to change and increase productivity. This includes everything from temperature control, to standing desks, to tech-enabled spaces that let workers plug and play anywhere within the building.

This has also led to the latest trend of artificial intelligence and smart buildings.  Smart buildings are basically supercomputers that collect data from its internal sensors to help building and facility managers improve efficiencies and building performance.

Trend #6:  Industrial Demand is High

With the increase in technology and e-commerce, industrial demand is high.  Cushman & Wakefield’s 2019 North American Industrial Outlook report shows that we will see continued double-digit growth in e-commerce.

As a result, this will keep the demand for industrial multi-story properties high well into 2020.  As a result, many investors are purchasing or leasing automated warehouses that are close to depots that can perform last mile deliveries, sorting hubs, and cold storage facilities for online grocery shopping.

 

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