Recession throws up new trends in office space design

The prevailing economic downturns in the nation has opened a new vista of opportunities in office market, and changes to today’s work places, mostly for the better.

Workplace experts say, perimeter offices are disappearing, floor plans are opening up, and trendy breakout areas and cafés are replacing the rigid, closed layouts of the past. Decision makers are putting the emphasis on modifying their facilities to support creativity, focus, and teamwork.

They noted that property owners and developers must adapt to the new trend by building office spaces that create flexibility in order to aid productivity.

According to them, there is a paradigm shift on the formal ways of measuring performance to a more flexible way that aids productivity in work, which requires both tact and vigour.

The old ways of measuring performance by physical presence, they said, have changed, and organisations must ensure the comfort of employees by building break out areas in office spaces.

Speaking at a web seminar titled: “Destination workplace” and anchored in Lagos by Head of Workplace Consultancy, DOTRubik Projects, Mr. Oladotun Olusola, work place experts noted that emerging trends, especially in commercial real estate, has shown a radical departure from the conventional office space with cubicles to a more flexible, interactive and collaborative space.

Driven by demographic consideration of the millennial population, the trend has brought a new thinking for property owners and human resource managers.

According to the Chief Executive Officer 3Invest Limited, operators of Lagos Co-work Place, Mrs. Ruth Obih-Obuah, that many employers do not consider their employees, when selecting work places is worrisome.

According to her, workers need fair treatment that will make them eager to work.

The elements that should be considered in creating such an environment, she said, include break up areas, good reception and open spaces for collaboration.

“The key thing is to ensure that workers are happy to work by creating a workable environment through designs.

Another work place expert and senior analyst of JLL’s West Africa Corporate Solutions Group, Mr. Timi Adesanya, said functionality of a work place should be of great importance and should be built to serve that purpose.

Adesanya said property owners and business owners must be smart to avoid wastages by taking nonfunctional offices spaces in order to reduce cost,

In his own part, Olusola noted the relationship between the ambiance in a work places and increased productivity, saying many businesses are not employees friendly.

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