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Office Space Trends to Look for in 2019

Posted Jan 2019

To appeal to a wider array of potential employees, many companies and building owners are re­designing and renovating their offices. Modern kitchens with high-top seating, collaboration areas made for informal meetings and adaptable office furniture with standing desks have all become the new standard for office renovations.

While many of those features are predicted to still be prevalent in 2019, architects, designers and owners say new design trends have emerged, with some clients returning to more privacy for their open offices, while others are investing in heavily branded design that reflects their company ethos, and more adaptable layouts.


Branded Work Spaces
Managers and designer are saying that owners want their workspace to reflect their company. This can be used as a marketing tool that helps organizations stand out to prospective clients as well as a way to reinforce company culture among employees. The Seatle Times reports:

“They are really coming up with unique ways to define themselves,” said Natasha Fonville, brand manager of Minneapolis-based Atmosphere Commercial Interiors. “That beautifully branded experience is really going to keep trending and keep elevating the spaces around us.”

Another Example: At the new downtown offices of Sleep Number, the company’s emblem is throughout the space on the wall and ceiling with Sleep Number settings on some of the tables.


Good Bye Receptionist?
Some companies have actually decided to do away with the classic front-desk receptionists. Sometimes these companies use technology to direct guests to where they need to go or just have a more informal entry area where guests are greeted by employees in a workspace instead.

Betsy Vohs, founder and chief executive of design firm Studio BV in Minneapolis, said 75 percent of her clients don’t really need a receptionist to answer calls or greet guests. “Having them at the front desk isn’t the best use of their time and energy,” Vohs said.

At the new Hopkins offices her firm has helped to design for Digi International, the company opted to skip the front-desk receptionist and use the space for an entry lounge with a coffee bar and a digital kiosk.

This past summer, Studio BV designed the offices of Field Nation, which also doesn’t use receptionists.

More agile space

Adaptable space has also become more of a priority as many companies have reduced the square footage dedicated to individual employees. With workers more nomadic, many new offices are currently designed to allow for rearrangement of the furniture layout and changes to walls and partitions.



Audio (Calls) Privacy
As offices have become more open, one negative has been that sound can carry throughout the space and disturb coworkers and customers. This can make taking calls sound like a Pakistani call center.

Many new offices have private call rooms. Companies also have requested other sound-dampening materials such as acoustic foam, felt, drapery and carpet, Vohs said.

The recently renovated RSM Plaza downtown has similar cutouts in its lobby. Some companies go as far as installing white-noise machines throughout their offices.


Amenities, amenities, etc...
The amenities race is a constant for many multitenant offices. Many landlords are investing heavily in community spaces such as kitchens and adding perks such as custom lighting. Downtown office buildings all over the South and the United States have undergone recent rehabs of their amenity spaces.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, the owner of U.S. Bancorp Center, plans to spend about $7.5 million to create a tenant-amenity space on the top floor of the tower. The building is more than 98 percent leased, but the company wanted to continue to improve the building, said Thomas Prescott, executive vice president of the Midwest region of Piedmont.

“It’s the right thing to do, enhancing our asset,” he said. “We’re excited. We’re making a significant investment in a building that’s mostly leased.”

A large stairway will lead up to the space that will feature a full fitness facility, tenant lounge, conference area and a game room with a golf simulator.

If you are looking for a new office space give us a call. We are happy to do a custom build to suit or renovate one of our existing spaces here in Downtown Albany, Georgia. It's a great place to work.

-LSE

Excerpts taken from original article at the Seattle Times. Full article can be read at this link:
https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/careers/ditching-the-receptionist-and-7-other-office-trends-to-look-for-this-year/

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