Resetting Real Estate Strategy: Design and Experience - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 5 of 6)

New design standards and technologies focused on health, productivity and communication will bind the workforce together across a physical and virtual real estate footprint.

29 Mar 2021

By Mehdi Aliouat


The reimagined workplace will be an essential part of ensuring the safety, wellness, productivity, and engagement of a distributed workforce.

For the physical office to remain a competitive advantage, companies must manage change and drive unprecedented levels of innovation tailored to serve the needs of a more flexible workforce while supporting unified goals.  This means aligning design and experience to flexible workforce needs.

Activity-based work (ABW) environments will be the new baseline for companies, as most employers adapt to meet employees’ desire for a more balanced workstyle and greater flexibility.

Companies previously adhering to traditional space models likely will find themselves continuing to pay for underutilized space— a negative trend that occupiers were already addressing pre- COVID. ABW design excels at supporting a workforce that uses the office to engage in both individual and collaborative activities, but not every day.

ABW is best implemented as free address (no dedicated seats), where employees instead report to a shared zone or neighborhood. This “best of both worlds” approach allows employees to be effective and connected while in the office and allows employers to be efficient with their space strategy.

An additional benefit of ABW is the sharing of ideas and information as employees move between spaces based on their activities versus strict confinement to designated areas or floors based on department or specialty.

To compete with the ubiquitous connectivity available in a 5G world, the office must be the best venue to connect with colleagues, experience brand and mission, and get work done.

Occupiers increasingly report that remote and home-based work arrangements are taking a toll on team-based work, such as creative ideation, innovation pipeline development, impromptu conversations and social connections—all of which are best achieved in person. A team-based workplace design concept allows employees to engage in the office when they primarily need to collaborate with their team on a specific task or project. They report to a “campsite” shared with their project team, with additional collaborative and social venues nearby.
Changing occupier expectations are driving a unique, hospitality inspired aspect to employee experience. An event-based workplace design allows employees to conduct most of their individual work at home and come to the office primarily for scheduled meetings and events. They spend most of their office time in meeting and social spaces. The innovations in workplace design will help companies meet the needs of an even more mobile workforce.

For further information on restructuring office space, contact Mike Young or visit or our website.

Or for the full report: Real estate reset: 8 core truths, click here.

Read other articles in the series:

Resetting Real Estate Strategy: Talent - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 1 of 6)
Resetting Real Estate Strategy: Location - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 2 of 6)
Resetting Real Estate Strategy: occupancy - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 3 of 6)

Resetting Real Estate Strategy: Flexible Solutions - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 4 of 6)

Resetting Real Estate Strategy: Digital Technologies - A series of core truths guiding the future of work (part 6 of 6)

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