As technology continues to shape the world around us, people in today’s workforce have become more mobile and less tethered to their desks than ever before. Files can be accessed virtually anywhere thanks to cloud storage while cubicles have given way to smart workstations that allow employees to choose how they work.
Technological enhancements are continually changing how employees interact with the physical space around them, and businesses that understand how employees want to work can create successful workplaces that drive productivity and engagement. Corporate occupiers agree: Eighty-six percent said they were reinventing or adapting workplace standards to meet shifting employee tastes and preferences, according to a 2017 CBRE workplace survey.
CBRE debuted its new Phoenix office in December 2017, and it adheres to the company’s Workplace360 initiative, which promotes mobility, flexibility and productivity through technology-enabled and paperless offices. Thanks to features like Web-based storage solutions, messaging and meeting applications, and plug-and-play work stations, employees are no longer confined to assigned desks, but instead can move freely around the office and choose from a variety of different private and collaboration-friendly work spaces to meet their changing needs throughout the day.
Adopting practices like “free-addressing” allows companies to rethink space utilization. With fewer rows of cubicles and offices reserves for C-suite executives, there is more space for collaboration-friendly space and amenities that enhance the employee experience. For example, The Quad, a creative office project in Scottsdale, and The Monroe in Downtown Phoenix, are two projects designed with the employee experience in mind. Both properties feature open floor plates that cater to the reimagined workplace. Collaborative areas connected by property-wide Wi-Fi, tenant lounges for events or networking, fitness centers and gaming areas are just a few of the amenities workers prefer to have today.
Office space today is a depiction of a company’s culture and should be conducive to the way people work in today’s highly connected and mobile world. Shifting to a flexible, tech-enabled and experience-centered office space can play a critical role in employee retention, engagement and productivity, which, in turn, can drive better business performance.
Craig Henig is senior managing director of the Southwest Market Area for CBRE.