Commercial Real Estate Office Space Planning Trends

Q4 Real Estate’s Craig Byers brings you another informational video. Craig sits down with Jake Allen, Lead Architect from Fusion Architects, to discuss Commercial Office Space Planning Trends

(Craig) Hey everyone! This is Craig Byers with Q4 Real Estate. I am sitting here with Jake Allen who is our head architect here at Fusion Architects which is a sister company of Q4, and falls under the Ahmann Companies’ umbrella.

(Craig) Jake is going to take a few minutes today to walk us through space planning and what to consider when laying out an office space. So why don’t you take it away Jake.

(Jake) Thank you Craig! I’m glad you asked. So space planning breaks down to a general version of ideas being general comfort, and user specific fundamentals. General comfort is environmental comfort such as day lighting and artificial lighting. Thermal comfort such as active mechanical system. A big trend now a days is bio-filler design, kind of moving away from cold sterile white and gray offices. Instead introducing more natural materials, earth tones, greenery, vegetation and things like that. Some of the things that tend to be overlooked are acoustics. This is something that doesn’t get considered but people are very aware of it everyday at work. This is sound proofing and this kind of manifests itself as public and private spaces. Again it is kind of the user specific needs and work culture effect how different spaces do things differently.

(Jake) Public spaces tend to be highly formal for gathering spaces. These are your conference rooms, waiting rooms, and retail spaces. There are also informal gathering spaces for employees themselves. These are social spaces such as breakrooms and lounges. Some people want game rooms, outdoor spaces and exercise rooms. Places you can unwind or gather in small groups. The same thing goes for private spaces. They tend to be visual privacy and auditory privacy. A big trend used to be big open office spaces. Now people are sort of going away from that because they are realizing they are loud. After COVID people are starting to find these open spaces spread disease and people miss work. We see a lot less open office and more individual spaces broken out into individual rooms. These tend to be semi-private and very private spaces.

(Jake) Your semi-private spaces are collaboration areas, lounges, small gathering spaces and they tend to be more flexible. They allow people to get away from their typical work area for the purpose of brainstorming in small groups. They have mobile partitions, mobile marker boards, and they tend to be kind of open and flexible to allow people to be generating ideas and brainstorming. The last thing would be individual private needs. These are user specific. Back to acoustics such as law offices, doctors offices where confidentially is a big consideration, so they need individual sound proof rooms.

(Jake) Some people have different space needs. They may need more storage space. So again it is back to individual needs. Other individual private spaces people are looking for include mom rooms, showers, and a space for bike storage. Location of restrooms along with the showers are important. The sight lines of where everyone is at is important because you don’t want to come out of the bathroom from the shower and be pointed out to the rest of the space. A lot of places are taking these kinds of things into consideration especially now a days they are trying to attract and retain employees so a big trend is customizable and flexible work spaces for individuals. You have people working from home and working in the office so you need customizable spaces. This would be furniture driven such as standing desks, or mobile desks. The flexibility component tends to be technology driven. They want mobile computers, mobile meeting spaces so they can run virtual meetings. They are trying to dial in on that work/life balance and retain employees while still maintaining a physical space in the office. Those are just general rules to go by that we take into consideration when designing spaces. All of these things effect the design of all the different spaces we’d use but it is really kind of user driven. Each different user has individual specific needs and a specific work culture they are going for so it is still some kind of balance.

(Craig) Well who knew you had to consider all of those attributes when you are laying out some office space but it really does make sense. For those of you whose head is spinning thinking this is really a lot of things to consider, I am sure you could contact Jake and his team here at Fusion Architects and they would certainly love to walk you through the process of laying out some office space. They will make sure it is customizable while meeting your individual needs and your employees’ individual needs, and it hits on that employee retention to make sure your employees are staying.

(Craig) Jake I want to thank you for your time today. As always if you need to get a hold of us you can reach us at 319-294-3339. Until then, everyone have a great weekend. Thank you!

You can watch the informational video, Commercial Office Space Planning Trends below.

Try out our commercial lease calculator here.

For more helpful information check out our blog posts titled: Commercial Real Estate Office Interior Design Trends Part I or Commercial Real Estate Office Interior Design Trends Part II.

Let one of our knowledgeable listing agents partner with you to find a commercial real estate property perfect for your business needs, and assist you in working through the lease process. Contact Jason Rogers, Craig Byers, or Luke Rogers at 319-294-3339 today!

Allow the experts at Fusion Architects help with your space planning and design planning needs. Contact Jake Allen, Lead Architect from Fusion Architects at 319-393-9011.