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The Evolution of Today’s Office Space and Real Estate

13 Jul, 2020

Just as open layouts are popular in residential homes, open office spaces also followed that trend in commercial spaces. Since the 1990s, companies have been flirting with the idea of open office space. Teamwork. Collaboration. Accessibility. Open offices made it possible for companies to utilize previously unusable spaces, and gave them the agility necessary to rapidly change their layouts, structuring, and framework. But the “modern open office” has been dying for the last decade— for some obvious reasons, and for some not-so-obvious ones.

Open Offices Lead to Resounding Backlash

Companies loved open offices. They were cheap and flexible. Employees hated them. Some 76 percent of workers disliked open offices, with nearly half of them citing the lack of privacy. Open offices were loud and distracting. Employees were constantly having conversations over each other, trying to focus on work while other things went on over their head—and struggling to maintain a feeling of having their own ownership over their office space.

So, after the 2010s, companies stopped trying to force open offices onto their employees. But that didn’t mean that they abandoned the idea entirely. Open offices still had some major advantages that they didn’t want to let go of, namely the cost and affordability.

The Evolution of Today’s Office Space

Rather than moving straight back to cubicles, companies started experimenting with two designs:

  • Offices and common spaces. This provided offices for employees as they needed them, but still had open, common spaces that could be used as needed. Companies needed to maintain less infrastructure this way, because the common area was a shared resource.
  • Flexible spaces. Rather than having a single open area, employers instead offered spaces that could easily be customized through the use of moving furniture and dividers. A little more work for employees, but fewer expensive fixtures.

Both of these tended to be more useful than a traditional, open office design. This is especially true in an era when remote work is more popular. There’s no reason for businesses to maintain dedicated offices for staff that will only be in the office once a week, but that doesn’t mean that they may not need access to an office from time to time.

Offices for Realtors, Managers, Lenders, and Builders

In the real estate industry, many companies are going to operate dramatically differently from each other, and they’re going to have preferences for certain office spaces. The needs for each business are just so tremendously varied.

What is known is that most real estate companies today aren’t looking for in-depth build outs, they’re looking for spaces that they can customize to their needs. Many of them want to increase their flexibility because of remote workers and new methods of working, and they want to be able to adapt their space to their needs on-the-fly rather than adhering to a permanent infrastructure. Much of this has to do with the initial influence of open office spaces, even if offices have evolved past that era.

In the future, it’s likely that offices are going to shrink down further, but there will be call for major amenities such as large multi-person conferencing rooms. Companies within the real estate industry may want to consider the direction that companies today are growing, in terms of their framework and infrastructure needs.

Velocity Title’s On-Demand Office Space

At Velocity Title, we pride ourselves on being flexible and exceeding our clients’ expectations. That means having multiple conference rooms available for settlements, large open seating areas for waiting, and most recently “drive-up” settlement services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can meet your unique needs.

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