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7 Trends Influencing The Workplace Of The Future

The future of the workplace is hard to predict, especially as it's being disrupted by new technology and demographics. We talked to designers, providers, users and leasing agents about their perspective on where the future is headed. 

Boxer Property president Justin Segal asserted it comes down to a paradigm shift. "Think about all the things a hotel does other than provide a bed. That's where the workplace is trending. We are no longer just a space provider.

Work is no longer a place you go, it's a thing you do, Corgan's Beth Ann Siegel says. Beth Ann (left, with colleague Malissa Jeffreys) moderated Bisnow's Houston Workplace of the Future event panel yesterday.

DLR Group managing director Filo Castore (left, with E/B/E's Kevin Bruns) sees the future in his 9-year-old daughter. One night at dinner, they were talking about what she wants to when she grows up. "I just want to help people and make a difference,'" she told him. In Filo's eyes, the future of the work is much more focused on the "why" instead of the "how" or the "where."

ChaiOne CEO Gaurav Khandelwal's operation is staffed by 80% Millennials and he echoed Filo's point. He says the next generation is looking for purpose, to be mission-driven. Amenities only go so far in attracting top talent. Gaurav (right, with Ray Durke) thinks the best way to serve businesses like his is to help employees find their mission and highlight it. 

Parkway managing director Mike Fransen (speaking above) has heard the same thing from his clients. To offer more, providers and managers have to start thinking about curating programs and building a community. That's easier said then done in some Class-A offices. Mike says managing the culture clash between young co-working tenants and established, conservative tenants isn't always easy. When a young programmer in a T-shirt doesn't hold the elevator door for an older lawyer hurrying to court, he hears about it. 

Openwork partner David Walker (above with Red Fox Investment Labs' Fritz Fowler) says managing those interactions is crucial. When vastly different people come together, that's when you get powerful mash-ups. If you give people a reason to come together, you get more of the radical collisions that lead to innovation and creativity. 

Netrix director Mike Gleason (above with Boxer Property's Marc Vecchio) thinks tech will become even more central to the workplace. Once an afterthought, IT and technological infrastructure is now leading the conversation. Mike says we'll start to see projects with lead IT architects. Given that IT budgets on projects have gone from around 5% to over 20% in just over a decade, the importance of getting the design right is paramount. 

According to Axoscape president Dat Lien (above with Boxer Property's Heather Shuttleworth), the future of workplace is designing space with fewer computers. Cloud computing and the proliferation of mobile tech has disrupted the typical idea of working at your desk. Those that do are increasingly favoring sit/stand desks. Dat sees much more movement in the office of the future.