Why aren’t companies cutting back on office space?
The world is emerging from a pandemic, which created shifts to hybrid work models, where employees are cutting back on time spent in the office by 30% or more.
You could assume that this means organizations are cutting back on the amount of space they use, as well as a dip in general demand for office space. However, what we see aren’t reductions in space, but rather in density – the amount of space per employee is actually increasing.
In the article below, we explore possible reasons for this.
Pressure to attract and retain talent
Employers of today are up against labor shortages and are competing heavily to attract and retain talent. In many cases organizations are also striving to bring employees onsite to encourage collaboration and serendipitous interactions. In order to achieve that, they must make the office more attractive. This means less tightly packed cubicles and more spacious, open seating plans that encourage face-to-face collaboration, offer a comfortable work setting and can accommodate a mix of in-person and remote meeting participants. In other words, they need to be more than just a desk and a computer, but also inviting social spaces that employees see value in commuting to.
Shift in the way employees view work
As people develop a new sense of awareness about their relationship to work, they are demanding more purpose and personal value from their work. Travelling to the office should therefore not only involve a decent place to work, but opportunities for employees to have a work-life balance.
City centers and places with a high proportion of offices are environments rich with amenities, such as bars, restaurants, theatres and other cultural venues. Therefore going to an office, which is located in a city center, provides a pull for employees to spend a day in the office. Being in proximity to such places allows employees to unwind after work and enjoy social interactions – especially important for development and workplace happiness of young professionals.
Most employees want to work Mondays and Fridays from home
As most employees prefer to stay at home Monday and Friday, and as employers are faced with tight labor markets and the need to retain talent, most office operate during the middle of the week.
This means that there are less opportunities to reduce the space, as office density remains highest during the middle of the week. Organizations still have to ensure they have enough space for their employees to work.