The Changing Design and Use of Office Space

  • September 22, 2017
  • Kathryn Juneau

From location to use to layout, office space has seemed to change in the current commercial real estate landscape. SVN | Graham, Langlois & Legendre’s resident Millennial Advisor Kathryn “KJ” Juneau offers her expert take on the current office market and what you can expect to see as you lease or buy office space.

[bctt tweet=”Office space is changing…and here’s how #CRE tenants and owner and can change with it. ” username=”svngll”]

We’ve Changed…So Our Office Space Needs to Change With Us

I can blow up your ears about Millennials and how we have changed the office space landscape, but honestly in today’s world every age range wants (and needs) different things from their working environment. Not only has generational thinking changed (as it always does), but so has our economy and daily activities. This has had a direct affect on office development and use.

Office Space Designed For Speed

office spaceIn today’s world we like things fast, which is no secret to anyone. We see examples of this through Amazon who pumps out one-day shipping and drone delivery. In general, working people now function in a space where they need to be able to come in, work efficiently, and pick up and leave quickly. This speed of delivery and product has certainly changed the office space patterns we see on market.

Office Space Designed For Satisfaction

Another change comes from the idea that “a happy employee is a productive one”. Longer commutes to work have proven to cause distaste, which causes production lags and overall employee dissatisfaction. Due to this most businesses now allow remote working but still require staff to come in a few days a week.

This helps keep the team connected but also allows the team member freedom to work how, and when, they want. With virtual office tools and new wave tech objects in place that help employees succeed, office real estate isn’t as crucial as it once was (but this doesn’t mean it has stopped playing a huge role).

Office Space Designed For Connection

Due in part to remote working, what we are seeing in the office space market is open floor plans and community spaces. All ages want to feel more connected to their work environment and therefore newer offices are being developed to share space. These collaborative spaces are changing the way commercial space is being leased.

Companies now look to create a naturally competitive, yet friendly, atmosphere by providing space for their own employees and also for employees of other industries. By connecting people through shared office space a business can rejuvenate their employees by providing collaborative learning environments with other fields, which expands everyone’s business knowledge.

Office Space with a Decreased Footprint

office spaceOffice space is certainly not obsolete, but what we are seeing as commercial real estate professionals is a desire for smaller footprints. This not only reduces business overhead, but also properly aligns with the way today’s employee works.

I get asked fairly often if I think we need more Class-A office buildings and I always answer, “It depends on your market, but we most certainly need more shared office space.” I have seen a few buildings in Baton Rouge being converted into shared space and it has served the space, and market, well. Although they aren’t as open as I personally would like to see, I realize Baton Rouge can sometimes be a tad behind in thinking.

The Bottom Line on the Current Baton Rouge Office Space Market

Both ‘younger’ and ‘older’ minded business owners now seek office space that is easily accessible, efficiently used and designed for collaboration. Smaller footprints of shared office space are the future and this change is has begun affecting businesses around these properties. Realizing employees have lives that exist after work is over, many new businesses that offer fun” after work” amenities (think gyms, bars, restaurants) have started popping up around shared office space.

The bottom line is that we will always need office space, especially medical (totally different subject I’ll come back to), but how we lease it or build it is steadily changing. A change I’m 100% open to seeing happen.


KJAbout Kathryn Juneau – After breaking into Baton Rouge Commercial Real Estate in 2011, Kathryn became licensed in 2013 and began specializing in senior housing. In 2014, Kathryn became and Advisor with SVN | Graham, Langlois & Legendre, LLC. She has represented large users of medical and industrial space in an array of real estate transactions. Kathryn’s reputation of tenaciously protecting her clients’ interest, savvy negotiations and cutting edge marketing strategies have led to numerous closings and returns to her clients. To contact Kathryn, you can email her at, call her at 225-367-1515 or follow her on Twitter at @KatJuneau.