When it comes to property trends, it’s hard to find a sector that changes faster than the office space market. While our homes may not have changed drastically over the past two decades, our office spaces certainly have.

This reflects the massive change in the way people work today – and office buildings that want to stay competitive in the rental market need to be ahead of the curve.

It’s all about people – and experiences

Some of us may still remember the stereotypical 20th-century office, with its small cubicles, bad coffee and sometimes unhealthy stress levels.

Fortunately, this type of working space is becoming a thing of the past – especially as Millennial and Gen Z workers enter the workforce and demand interactive, nurturing environments.

As cubicles are replaced by open-plan collaboration spaces and the old filter coffee machine gives way to craft coffee bars and organic smoothies made to order, commercial spaces are undergoing a transformation.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that today’s most popular office spaces are actually trendy retail spaces. That’s because young professionals have come to expect comfort, entertainment and a sense of relaxed focus wherever they go.

Office building owners around the world are renovating and adapting their spaces to meet the expectations of a new generation – here’s how you can do the same.

Small changes that make a big impact

With a slow economy and less-than-ideal occupancy rates, now may not seem like the ideal time to undertake costly renovations.

The good news is that many of the requirements of a cutting-edge office don’t require huge structural changes. It’s more about the facilities your building has to offer.

  • High-speed internet and building-wide WiFi are standard requirements today – and if your building doesn’t already have these, now is the time to install them.
  • If a staffed eatery or coffee bar is beyond your budget, most tenants will be happy to help themselves – as long as the equipment is on-trend. High-quality coffee machines and a serviced juice and water bar are a great way to begin.
  • A variety of comfortable, modern furnishings can transform the most conventional office into a creative workspace. These can always be obtained affordably from remaindered furniture dealers and factory outlets.

Get used to unusual occupancy and use patterns

As more employees opt to work remotely, workspaces are becoming places where people go voluntarily to connect and collaborate. As a result, it’s not unusual for a shared workspace to be almost empty for hours or even days at a stretch, only to fill up to capacity all of a sudden.

The predictability of regular tenants with contracts running into years – and sometimes decades – may be a thing of the past. But the opportunities that shared workspaces present could easily make up for it.

With a popular shared workspace in your building, and some retail spaces housing a gym, coffee shop, restaurant and other relaxing venues, you could do more than retain building users.

Your building could become their favourite place to visit – and that’s precisely what today’s office spaces should strive to become.

Wondering where to start? Let us guide you

If you’re planning to make changes to your office building, the Commercial Space team has the market insights you need to position your property. To learn more, contact us today.