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The Future of the Office is Not a DJ

Better spaces will drive occupancy.

JLL CEO, Christian Ulbrich, recently appeared on CNBC’’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ to discuss office occupancy, commercial real estate, and whether the corporate market is really losing square footage.

Feed Employee Purpose

Ulbrich raises several great points, including why a company that recently announced they are adding a DJ to their headquarters to entice employees back to the office, may have gotten it wrong. “Not a DJ; better space,” Ulbrich advised. This is one of the best, most succinct pieces of advice to-date about what the built-environment’s role is, or should be, in supporting and motivating employees. Provide spaces and resources that drive employee purpose. If an employee cannot, at minimum, excel in their role within your office environment, having a DJ, daily bagels, and a comfy couch, isn’t going to push the needle. Amenities aren’t meant to be distractions, as in look at our DJ booth and ignore our lack of collaboration areas. Give employees the collaboration area first.

Do We Need All This Space?

Another point by Ulbrich is the question of a reduction in office square footage to accommodate employee flex schedules. If employees aren’t in the office five days a week, do we still need all this space. Our answer, and Ulbrich’s, is yes. Not individual work desks and spaces, but more meaningful spaces for collaboration, innovation, and well-being. Companies aren’t reducing their office footprint, but they are investing in more purposeful spaces such as open collaboration areas, brainstorming rooms, and social/work employee cafes.

Modernity Over Mediocrity

We believe offices that deliver on contemporary preferences: superior infrastructure, technology, experience, and quality, will fair dramatically better than lower-quality offices which have not. Organizations struggle with mediocre performance and lukewarm responses to RTO when they’ve given their teams a mediocre environment. A modern office with versatile spaces, effectual tools, attention to acoustics and proper lighting, wellness amenities, and an overall sense of community and collaboration, is one in which a high performing team wants to return.

Ulbrich’s video is worth a view:

#avdesignedforpeople #workplacedesign #collaboration #officedesign

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