Contact Us

The Office Of The Future Will Be More Collaborative Than Ever

If office space doesn't promote collaboration—through its design and layout and the sophistication of its technology—it won't have much of a place in the future. That was a main takeaway at Bisnow's Boston Creative Office event recently at the Revere.


The concept of collaboration is a driving force in the evolution of the office, our speakers explained. In the last few years, heightened collaboration among workers and different parts of a company has increasingly become the norm (those silos are breaking down), and office space is adjusting to that reality. Space isn't a place just to house employees, but to facilitate their collaboration.

John Hancock Financial Services director-facilities planning Marc Surprenant and Boston Realty Advisors managing director Wil Catlin are shown above.


The reason collaboration is important is that a company's culture, and its effectiveness in the marketplace, is now largely a function of how teams work together, the panelists said. The goal with cutting-edge office space is to make it easy for people to collaborate. Sometimes it's simply a matter of every desk being visible, and keeping management visible as well. Also, a wider array of settings in a space facilitates impromptu meetings: larger open spaces, smaller spaces, informal spaces, formal spaces, even a bit of private space.

Here's Sonos global real estate & facilities project manager Chad Lundeen, Localytics CEO Raj Aggarwal and Unispace managing director Matt Lock, who moderated.


Tech also is driving the future of commercial real estate, especially in a place like Boston, but "tech" isn't a single driver, our tech speakers said. Some tech—like WiredScore and View the Space—are simplifiers, taking something difficult (such as a building's relative connectivity) and making it easier to understand. Then there are enablers, which take difficult processes and streamline them. Finally, there are disruptors: tech that changes the way businesses is done. In the case of commercial real estate, an example is augmented reality, such as an Oculus Rift.

Rubenstein Partners director Deke Schultze and View the Space regional director Matt Giffune.


Tenant tech needs are evolving in ways that office space providers need to satisfy, our speakers added. The space needs to be more flexible, for one thing, with modular and open design to accommodate new kinds of tech. Mobility is another key consideration. Work is becoming more like home and home is becoming more like work, allowing greater mobility between the two. Also, and maybe most importantly, is connectivity. Everyone needs constant connectivity now, not just tech tenants.

WiredScore CEO Arie Barendrecht and Bisnow's Tyler Fisher, who moderated. There will be more coverage of the Boston Office of the Future in tomorrow's newsletter.