Office Buildings

What Will the 'New Normal' Office Look Like?

Flexibility is crucial for the new office space, but companies still face an uphill battle in getting employees comfortable with returning to the office full-time.   September 28, 2022

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

How can organizations convince workers that the office is the place to be? Amenities like ping pong tables and goofy slides are out. Super-fast WiFi, huge video screens, an abundance of conference rooms, free lunches, and rooftop desks with panoramic views of the city are in.  

In total, in the post-pandemic office, flexibility is crucial. In many cases, employees won’t have assigned desks, will be free to move about the space to work anywhere that’s comfortable, and will have a variety of options for teaming space, both for in-person and Zoom meetings.  

Read Next: How Hybrid Workplaces Put Employers At Risk

A recent Chicago Tribune story details two recently opened office spaces – for Accenture and Cisco -- in downtown Chicago. The story mentions that even with gleaming new spaces and the best amenities, it’ll still be an uphill battle to lure employees back to the office full-time. For that reason, many companies have cut their space – the vacancy rate in downtown Chicago is at 19.3 percent. 

A top-tier, collaborative office space, as facility managers well know, isn’t just about luring employees back to the office. Now, more than ever, an office space that contributes to employee productivity, job satisfaction, and health and wellness is also a huge recruitment and retention tool.  

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for and Building Operating Management magazine. 


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