The goal for our global trend report was to understand how the office has changed as a result of the last few unprecedented years and subsequent shifts in work. My team analyzed data across our global portfolio of member companies to understand how the largest organizations are rethinking their offices. We explored how employee expectations have shifted to desire a “commute-worthy” space to the impact of hybrid work on the future of office design.
Click here to read the full report.
One key theme emerged this year: the dynamic office.
Companies want their spaces to be dynamic; a term used to describe a workspace that can shapeshift to accommodate a variety of work-related needs. Dynamic mixed-use floor plans offer a variety of space options, from quiet corners to break out areas, and encourage workers into the office.
The “dynamic” office is a solid bet for business leaders looking to future-proof their workplace strategies, as they benefit from having the flexibility to test and learn from their return-to-office plans, tailor their environments to meet employee demand, as well as effortlessly enhance their offering for years to come.
Here are the report’s top findings:
1. Open floor plans and lounge space are on the rise whilst executive offices and meeting rooms are on the decline
WeWork found that requests for spaces designed to foster collaboration, such as communal areas and “lounge” spaces, increased by 7.3% in 2023 compared to pre-pandemic times. as companies rebuild their spaces to be more flexible, many have opted to repurpose space formerly used for executives’ offices into lounges, meeting rooms, or communal working space.
2. Non-traditional workspaces are the new go-to amenity
“Non-traditional” workspaces are the new go-to amenity for bolstering productivity and company culture. WeWork’s report found that 68% of “non-traditional” space requests were aiming to improve productivity – such as customized boardrooms and focus rooms. Comparatively, 32% of requests were for spaces that enhance company culture and employee wellbeing, such as “All Hands” spaces and wellness rooms.
3. Offices today are less densely populated than pre-pandemic offices
With fewer people filling up office space post-pandemic, companies are rethinking their layouts to be more dynamic and usable across a variety of working needs. As most companies no longer plan for 100% of their workforce to be in the office, they are optimizing for lounge space and “work points” that foster collaboration but that can also be reconfigured to create work stations on busier days in the office.
Our report is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data from global WeWork member accounts and customization requests from May 2019 to June 2023. Specifically our original analysis looked at:
- 25 major enterprise deals since June 2021
- Over 3000 enterprise member requests for design-related requirements
- A scan of existing asset locations, new turnkey deals and new customization deals
- Conversations with enterprise member account managers
- WeWork’s Basis Of Design (BOD) documentation: a design standard document established with key member accounts
Aggregate Data Source: Numbers are estimated based on facilities & internal data.