No two companies are alike. With so many differences in size, industry, operating style, growth strategy and culture, it takes a certain kind of care and attention to identify what a company needs in terms of their real estate. It’s part of the challenge of a being broker, and one we gladly take on each and every time we work with a new client.
We make it a point to get to know the ins and outs of the companies we’re representing to find them a space that fits their current – and future – needs. We also make it a point to stay on top of the latest workplace trends to help our clients make the most informed decisions possible.
Tributary Real Estate Partner Amy Aldridge recently provided her insight at Bisnow Denver’s Office of the Future event at the Four Seasons hotel in Downtown Denver. This expert panel of commercial real estate professionals provided a valuable glimpse into what’s happening now and what will happen in the future as Denver’s workforce continues to evolve.
Here are five workplace trends in Denver to know:
1. Flexibility Remains a Top Priority
Options for office space today seem almost endless. With the advent of coworking on such a large scale, companies have multiple alternatives to traditional office space at their fingertips. We see many tenants using coworking as a stepping stone to find the right place where they can expand and call their own, while others are drawn to it simply because of its flexibility. There’s no doubt coworking will continue to have a place in the market for quite some time.
Coworking has also introduced shorter-term leases, which is forcing traditional landlords to rethink their lease negotiations in order to compete. At the end of the day, companies want flexibility to scale up or down, and don’t want to be caught in a long-term lease if their situation changes in a few years.
2. Location, Location, Location
We’re always trying to tick as many boxes as possible for our clients, and location remains one of the most attractive pieces of the equation. With relatively limited inventory, we’re seeing a resurgence in interest in buildings built in the 1970s/80s simply because of their location. There are a number of second-generation assets in the Central Business District and Denver Tech Center that are being renovated and repositioned to meet modern workplace demands, and companies are biting.
3. Amenities Still Matter
In an effort to get employees excited about coming into the office as opposed to working remotely, we’ve seen an increase in attention that employers give to amenities.
Ping pong table? Kegerator? Free snacks? Nice-to-haves, but not game-changers. There’s been a shift in the workforce away from superficial amenities in favor of true value-add amenities that encourage health and well-being. Think top-notch fitness facilities, locker rooms, showers, bike storage and common spaces that encourage community-building.
And don’t forget what’s outside the building. Location-based amenities are just as important for employees to feel like they’re part of the community. They want to be able to embrace the neighborhood where they work – that means ample dining, entertainment and retail options within walking distance. Proximity to public transit will continue to be an important factor as well.
4. Tech-enabled Design
One of the biggest trends we’re seeing with tenants is the need for customized spaces that can accommodate various work styles with seamless mobility and technology integration. Employers are recognizing that no two people work exactly the same and that accommodating specific work styles where possible can lead to increased productivity and efficiency.
Top of mind for workplace configuration is building and maintaining the company’s culture and increasing collaboration among employees. As technology becomes more and more integrated into the workplace, it will be interesting to see if smart buildings will start incentivizing tenants with cost-savings measures and increasing health and wellbeing of employees.
5. Culture is King
While many tenants learn to compromise on things like amenities, location and space, the one thing our clients are never willing to compromise on is their culture. Regardless of their decision, they make sure it aligns with who they are as a company and how they can best support their employees.
While these trends provide insight into what companies are thinking, it’s important to remember that no two companies are the same, nor do they share the same goals for their office space. When it’s all said and done, a company needs to be in a space that supports its overall business objectives and can provide flexibility to accommodate its evolution.