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Can An Office Be Too Creative?

Chicago Office

There's a big difference between providing a few beanbag chairs and making your entire staff work on exercise balls. (Is the office hyperbaric chamber for conference calls or post-brainstorm relaxation?) Have we been a bit overzealous in embracing the creative office trend? Find out at our Property Management & Office of the Future event on Aug. 28.


According to a recent study by the British Council for Offices, 26% of employees feel negatively affected by the open-plan office trend. While it's no majority, it illustrates that the client’s business model must be considered, says Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director Randy Waites, one of our speakers. Reduction in SF/employee is more than just a number (though that’s shrunk from 250 SF to almost 150 SF); it can also mean less privacy and more noise. “There continue to be productivity issues in environments not built in the right place for the right users,” Randy says.


Creative environments work best where the free flow of ideas is a priority, Randy tells us, like in tech, architecture, and advertising. It’s tough for a law firm where confidentiality is key. The balance of open and private space was a big consideration when Cushman & Wakefield built its new space to attract live/work/play Millennials. The firm skipped all corner offices in favor of breakout rooms (above) that promote collaboration, Randy says. However, the layout maintains workstations that afford privacy. At one of Randy’s client’s spaces, they even have a flat screen broadcasting employees’ ideas around the clock. Buy event tix here, and come find out if open-plan should be in your company’s future.