Baker Hughes To Massively Downsize Office Space As Hybrid Work Takes Hold
Baker Hughes will shrink its office footprint dramatically, consolidating its various Houston offices into a new 130K SF headquarters in the Energy Corridor.
The energy services company will shutter four Houston offices, including its current headquarters on Aldine Westfield Road and offices in Spring Branch, selling or leasing a total of 346K SF. The new office at Energy Center II, 575 Dairy Ashford Road, will open next year.
The move represents an office scale-down of more than 62%.
Baker Hughes told the Houston Chronicle the consolidation creates efficiency and will save cash. Roughly 1,400 employees will be affected by the move, or 20% of its workforce, since company employees largely work in a hybrid model.
“The hybrid environment that people have come to work in over the pandemic years really is allowing us to think differently about the workspaces we have in our office environment,” Baker Hughes Chief Human Resources Officer Deanna Jones told the Chronicle.
The new office is designed for that hybrid model and will incorporate collaborative spaces. It also aligns with Baker Hughes' stated plans to move to net-zero carbon emissions. Energy Center II is a more efficient building, the company said, and it will cut employee commute times and on-site energy usage.
Baker Hughes joins Enbridge, Bechtel and Baker Botts in downsizing Houston office space this year. Although deals are being signed and Houston office vacancy has dropped somewhat from the depths of the pandemic, the market is not bucking national trends: A CBRE survey earlier this year showed about half of U.S. companies planned to cut office space in the next three years, overwhelmingly due to decreased need with the adoption of hybrid work.
“Like a lot of other organizations, we’ve been looking for ways to create a work environment for our people that is modern, flexible and innovative,” Jones told the Chronicle. “We all know the talent marketplace right now is very active and the Energy Corridor has a number of services and amenities in that area that just make it a really great place to office.”