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Open Plan, Amenty-Rich Office Space Isn't Just For Tech Any More

The evolution of the workplace never stops. Yesterday's bold (and occasionally odd) experimentation with density, open plans and game-like amenities has become standard in today's offices — and not just for tech companies.

TMT Development president and CEO Vanessa Sturgeon

The evolution of office space has now affected most kinds of tenants, according to TMT Development president and CEO Vanessa Sturgeon.

"Work and play are increasingly intersecting, and not just in tech," she said.

"Law firms, accounting firms and consultants now value the work product that results from idea sharing," she said. "Tenants expect equity in office size, and smaller cubes to make room for collaborative workspace. Also, Kegerators, wine fridges and espresso machines aren’t just for companies primarily staffed with Millennials anymore." 

Capstone Partners principal Chris Nelson said some amenities are expected.

"Roof decks and/or parks and bike-friendly building amenities, including secure bike parking, showers and lockers, are must-haves today," he said.

Unico Properties senior vice president Brian Pearce

“Today's office tenants are looking for greater density in their space so that they can occupy a smaller footprint," Unico Properties senior vice president, real estate services Brian Pearce said. "Tenants have increased densities from the old days of 250 SF per employee down to as low as 95 SF per employee."

The trend toward density is now so firmly established that tenants want to know landlords are willing and able to provide the density, Pearce said.

"To achieve density, tenants expect landlords to provide more common area meeting spaces and amenities in general. Lobbies are getting more seating and smart technology. The more on-site services you can provide to keep employees at work, the better.”

Find out more about what is next for office space at our Portland Workplace of the Future event May 23 at the Benson Hotel. Sturgeon, Pearce and Nelson will all be speakers.