Office trends 2024 contd. Downsizes, amenities, flex space.

  • Posted on: 4 March 2024
  • By: Hushoffice Team

We approach the end of the Q1. Let’s revisit office industry patterns for the year ahead. And with a higher-level look at implications in real estate in particular. Eminent are the RTO struggle, downsizing, amenity thinking, and a slow, sure adoption of flex space.

Office trends 2024 contd. Downsizes, amenities, flex space.

Read the first blog: The most important office design trends for 2024.

Office trends 2024 – tl;dr

The RTO struggle continues. Many employers consider negotiating.

The return-to-office trend has waned, realizing a new normal of about 50% occupancy. 80% of bosses even regret their early RTO plans for the pushback they produced. Today just 4% of CEOs are prioritizing bringing employees back to the office. Attracting and retaining talent has become the focus.

The hushMeet acoustic booth for team meetings.
The hushMeet quiet office pod for hybrid team meetings.

Flexibility matters to employees more than pay.

These shifts reflect a broad preference for flexibility — something we spoke to in our last office trends forecast. Indeed, an August 2023 FlexJobs poll found that 56% of employees know someone who has or plans to quit due to RTO mandates, while 63% would accept a pay cut for remote flexibility.

Addressing office vacancies, firms downsize (making every sq ft precious).

Today, office vacancies are at a 30-year high. The demand for space is indeed so low that Cushman & Wakefield forecasts there may be 1B square feet of unused U.S. office space by 2030. Moreover, 75% of businesses plan to reduce their square footage this year.

HushAccess.L is a large conference pod adapted to the needs of wheelchair users
HushAccess.L is a large conference pod adapted to the needs of wheelchair users

With leases in question, many companies are trimming space to make the office make financial sense. So the task for owners and facilities managers is about doing more with less. Flexible layouts are undoubtedly part of this. They require less square footage than traditional office layouts. Acoustic work pods like the Hushoffice line in particular come to the aid of anyone that needs to offer maximum function within minimal space. Pods, booths, and cabins are perfect work and meeting hubs that hush the office’s soundscape by trapping irritating sources of sound like calls and whiteboard sessions. They help make the workplace worth returning to

says Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

Read: Do acoustic booths work in smaller offices?

Flex office space poised to take the industry by storm.

Flexible leases, layouts, and furniture — the “flex” trifecta. Cutting costs and embracing employee needs, flex space promises to optimize. 43% of firms plan to add more flex space through 2025. Movable, user-adapted, modular furniture pieces are needed to furnish the sure influx of changing spaces.

Quiet pods for offices like hushHybrid are sanctuaries of focus within a bustling (perhaps dog-filled) office.
Quiet pods for offices like hushHybrid are sanctuaries of focus within a bustling (perhaps dog-filled) office.

Overall, the rising popularity of flexible leasing options is driving a shift towards more adaptable, tenant-centric offices. The design and selection of furniture play a crucial role in meeting the many needs of tenants in this dynamic leasing environment. In response to the question of adaptability, layouts are becoming quicker to reconfigure. Movable walls, partitions, and furniture systems help meet developing tenant needs or fluctuating space requirements. With this, there goes a trend towards multi-functional spaces that can serve different purposes for different tenants. A large hushAccess.L teamwork cabin is a piece of furniture well-suited for this multi-use ideal as it can be re-furnished endlessly. And all the while it provides the same, impenetrable environment of premium quiet and privacy

– adds Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

Amenities. The new way to please tenants by pleasing their teams.

The flight-to-quality trend will continue as tenants downsize. So the newest, most premium office spaces with the best amenities will win. It is likely that, more and more, property owners will work with their tenants to provide the right amenities, such as acoustic meeting booths (see hushMeet).

Read: How to arrange booths in small, medium, and large offices.

Work-related amenities make the biggest difference.

Gensler’s research shows that the amenities with the greatest impact on overall employee effectiveness and experience are those directly supportive of discrete work needs, like the need for concentrated effort, a private call, or team collaboration.

HushMeet private office booth for team meetings
HushMeet is a 4-person acoustic meeting pod

Focused workspaces, the top amenity employee’s want.

For the majority of employees, the #1 reason to come into the office is to focus on work. This reality underscores something fundamental: quiet, focused workspaces like hushHybrid one-person work booths are a choice amenity for today’s workplace.

Among the office landscape’s many changes is the emergence of productivity-centric areas like designated quiet zones. Areas where conversation and phone calls are off-limits. Companies are more and more bringing in pods, phone booths, and similar furniture enclosures to afford workers this privacy and clutter-free calm they seek. So is recognized the importance of giving people versatile and perfect spaces for collaborative endeavors or individual productivity. Altogether, this moment marks a promising departure from traditional office layouts towards more tailored and accommodating environments

– explains Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

Read: Office pods, the ultimate amenity to office tenants for hybrid work model.

Compact. Comfortable. Mobile. Multi-use. Pods fit right into today’s office landscape.

Today’s managers and building operators must provide flexible, amenity-rich offices that earn the commute, doing more with less space. Pods may be part of this equation, being premium amenity spaces upon themselves that maximize function within mere square feet. Consider the Hushoffice line, acoustically impeccable work and meeting booths.

Hushoffice HushAccess.L ADA compliant office pod adapted to the needs of persons with mobility impairments
HushAccess.L is a large, team conference booth — an answer to employee demand for privacy.

Check out the Hushoffice line of acoustic office pods and booths here.

Office trends 2024 – tl;dr

Office trends – frequently asked questions

How will flexible leasing options change workplace design?

Modular layouts and movable partitions will grow in popularity. They will allow for the easy reconfiguration needed to cater to changing tenant needs. Multi-functional spaces, such as shared meeting rooms that convert into breakout areas, will also become common. Such spaces will satisfy by maximizing space utility and tenant appeal. Shared amenities like lounges and work booths will help foster the desired sense of community that makes the office worth its commute.

How do I optimize a small office space?

Compact, user-adjusted, and flexible furniture play a pivotal role in this task. Pieces of streamlined design and efficient use of space can minimize clutter and create a more open and inviting environment. Furniture with modular components also gives a necessary versatility. Teams that can adapt their small space to various functions will be happiest. Check out the Hushoffice line of acoustic office pods.

What amenities do office tenants want?

The #1 reason most employees cite for coming into the office is to focus on their work. This insight is corroborated by further Gensler research which reveals that the amenities most positively impactful of employee effectiveness and experience are those that support work needs (over non-work needs). Such amenities may include a private call booth like hushHybrid or a mobile work room like hushAccess.L. To accommodate tenants, investments into such solutions will be warmly received.

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