Source:  Phoenix Business Journal, September 23, 2016

Workplaces and workspaces are changing fast. Technology has changed nearly every job, and technology and creative companies also are changing what workplaces look like. The popularity of coffee shops and hip restaurant also are showing up in office designs. location is still important to where companies put offices. But here are five trends we picked up from our Sept. 1 commercial real estate round-table.

COOL KITCHENS

Office break rooms have gone the way of manufacturing jobs and pensions. What is in now are larger, cooler and decorated kitchens and lunch areas that make employees want to hang out at work. They also can double as meeting areas.

State Farm has put some cool break rooms at its operations hub at Tempe’s Marina Heights development. R&R Partners also put in large, family-style tables and furnishing as part of its offices at a refurbished Warehouse District building.

FLEXIBLE WORK AND MEETING SPACES

The trend of less conventional meeting and work spaces continues as technology and creative companies set the bar for other employers. Huddle areas, desk sharing and developing ways and places for employees to find their productive and creative grooves are increasingly the norm.

TECHNOLOGY

Technology is changing just about every industry, job and workplace. That means architects and designers need to find way to incorporate technology, especially wireless communications, into workspaces new and old. Workers being able to work from home or Starbucks also means employers may need less office space. That translates into smaller footprints.

THE END OF THE CORNER OFFICE

Having a corner office with a door to close and a view of the city has long been a status symbol of lawyers, executives and others focused on climbing that corporate ladder. More companies are adopting office footprints focused on collaboration, technology and team work.

That trend has been coupled with those same companies cutting the number of administrative assistants and secretaries working for executive office dwellers.

OPEN SPACES

Think of what kind of restaurants and coffee shops are cool and hip. They have open designs, exposed ceilings, darker wood and contemporary furnishings. Those are popular now in residential designs where vinyl plank and wood flooring have vanquished carpeting. The same is happening with commercial spaces with more offices looking to mimic Silicon Valley tech companies, trendy advertising agencies as well as hip bistros and cafes.