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Stuffy Office Tower Landlords Make Millennial-Friendly Makeovers

Coworking Zonaspace

Gone are the days when plain white walls and dusty old cubicles dominated office towers.

To compete with the growing popularity of co-working spaces, office landlords have begun to incorporate everything from beer and wine taps to private clubs and arcade games in their properties, Bloomberg reports.

While startups and tech companies like Google may have led the way in creating playful offices, companies in industries ranging from financial services to cybersecurity have gotten in on the trend and are increasingly looking to offer work-play offices that will attract millennial talent.

This phenomenon has become more essential since the 2008 financial crisis, which caused many tenants to pack a larger number of employees into smaller spaces, Bloomberg reports. Over the past seven years, average square footage per employee has decreased by 9%. It is now estimated to be 181 SF/person, according to CoStar analysis. To offset this situation, tenants opted for brighter, more open spaces and amenities.

Landlords who do not bend to this new way of working risk losing tenants. Vacancy rates in Boston’s financial district rose to 11.9% in the fourth quarter — up from 8.7% during the same period in 2015 — as many tenants began to move into the trendy Seaport area and biotech centers like Cambridge, Bloomberg reports.