Perspectives from the 2013 National Forums Symposium

Summer 2013

Architecture firm Gensler’s Workplace Index (WPI) indicates that, contrary to popular belief, employees are spending a greater part of their day on focused work than they use to. In 2007, 45 percent of the day was spent on focused work compared to about 56 percent in 2012. “Focus is the predominant mode. You have to get focus right in order to create space for collaborative, learning, and social modes. So, if companies go in and say ‘we need to start looking at that collaborative space,’ and they don’t get the focus space right, you have a severe problem.” Sven Govaars, strategist, Gensler, presenting to the NAIOP Industry Trends Task Force, during a program entitled “You’re not Listening, I Need an Office.”

Concerning the ratio of open to closed space, “We are often asked about the right ratio of open to closed space and we say this is the wrong question. The questions are about giving people choice to move wherever they need to, given the kind of work their firm does. Office space users need the ability to create privacy when it is needed. Spaces need to be integrating, overlapping, and multipurpose in nature. Spaces that offer users choice and control are the ones that will be chosen.” Dean Strombom, principal, Gensler, presenting to the NAIOP Industry Trends Task Force, during a program entitled “You’re not Listening, I Need an Office.”

table showing growth periods for real estate cycles

“Real Estate cycles start on a three and end on an eight. If you are smart, you will lock in long term rates now and start selling in 2018, or at least hunker down.” Chris Lee, president and CEO, CEL & Associates, Inc.