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Modern, Emerging Trends In Commercial Office Space

In the past, commercial office space has often followed a predictable, conservative layout. Oftentimes, private offices sat around the exterior of the floor plan, while all the juniors and amenities spaces were clustered towards the middle. However, many changes taking place in the industry are changing the way office buildings are designed, built and function.

“Millennials are shaping how and where we work – and also how and where we shop and even the path our packages take from ship to doorstep,” said Todd Burns, President, JLL Project and Development Services, Americas. “By 2020, the U.S. workforce will be comprised of 50 percent Millennials, more than all other generations combined.”

Today, companies are focused on accommodating their Millennial employees and their preference for offices in existing urban locations that are close to amenities and often with unique, open interior spaces.

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Additionally, many employers have realized that the office environment directly influences all employee’s (not just Millennials), satisfaction, creativity, and productivity. In the late 90s, this growing trend of open and creative office space began gaining momentum as many tech companies became innovators not only in their product development but also in their workspace design.

Tech companies developed a reputation for building amazing workspaces, more like playgrounds, that their employees could look forward to working in. As a result of this, they attracted the very best and brightest.

However, recently, this mini-revolution has spread to many other traditional industries. Nowadays, many large companies are also moving progressively towards open, creative, and collaborative workspaces.

Work spaces are now being designed to accommodate longer hours of work and comfortable, pleasant environments. These new layouts often include open-air environments with bench desking and casual seating clusters. Huddle rooms, war rooms, team rooms and nap rooms all offer an escape from the daily hum of conversations and phone calls.

In addition to the emerging differences outlined above, many offices are incorporating the following into their design and layout:

  1. Open Plans

Studies have shown that an open floor plan improves the mood of employees. Many modern offices are often designed to encourage collaboration, as modern employers understand that employees being able to interact while they work is beneficial, rather than detrimental, to long-term productivity.

  1. Hot Desking

Having employees who aren’t chained to their desks translates to reduced office costs and increased networking opportunities. Open spaces have become more valuable as technological advances now allow workers to work from almost anywhere.

  1. Common Spaces

Designing informal areas for meetings and collaboration on larger projects helps to create a community feel in the workplace. Working collectively on tough problems can vastly improve productivity.

  1. Functional Buildings

Large corporate office buildings are now increasingly equipped with cafes, restaurants, libraries, bars, and gyms. Google is probably the best at this, the theory being that a happy employee at work is more likely to stay at the office longer.

  1. Sustainable

Increasingly, green is the new black in office design projects, more businesses want to design their space in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. It’s not just employers; environmentalism is often a key issue for many employees, too.

If you or your company are looking to expand in or enter the Utah market and need to lease or purchase commercial retail, office or industrial space, contact Chris Falk today for expert advice and access to some of the hottest listings along the Wasatch Front. Contact Chris at or by calling him at 801-416-1024.

About the Author

Chris Falk SIOR, CCIM

Chris Falk is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)—one of the most comprehensive commercial real estate designations, held by an estimated 6% of commercial brokers nationally. As a commercial real estate broker, Chris has handled over 600 transactions exceeding $475MM. Born and raised in Utah, Chris understands the unique qualities of the region and the great capacity for business opportunities in Northern Utah, including Davis, Weber and Salt Lake Counties. Chris is the premier, go-to agent for businesses and developers interested in this dynamic area.