Staying on top of the macro trends in office space markets means watching a lot of factors. In terms of disruptive change, I think the biggest story is a technology-driven and culturally-driven decline in demand for traditional office workspaces. Telecommuting, shared and temporary workspaces and wireless internet access are genuinely reshaping the expectations of the marketplace from within and without. Add in generational expectations — recent grads, weaned on constant access to the internet don’t see tethers of any kind in a favorable light, nor cubicle farms as necessary, let alone desirable — and you have a genuine transformation in progress.
Increasingly, employers are keeping pace with the new realities by tailoring business models to leverage the newly-arrived options in staffing, location, infrastructure and support. This can be teased out from the background by tracking the number and concentration of telework, or telecommuting jobs.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that an area’s rise in telecommuting always leads to a decline in traditional office space demand. Beyond any single statewide or national trend lies local circumstances that dictate. Then again, knowing what your state is experiencing becomes critical as time goes on to get an early understanding of the evolving business needs of clients on both sides of the landlord/tenant negotiating table.
Telework Research Network is a team that stays on top of the general area, and they’ve published a heck of an infographic on where the “flex jobs” are, and what they can be.(Follow the link to get the full-sized image.) Long story short: Florida, Texas, California, Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts are leading the pack in redefining the workplace economy — and with it, office space markets.
- Infographic: Employer Mistrust Slows Trend Toward Telecommuting (prweb.com)
- Beware of hidden taxes for telecommuters (cbsnews.com)
- Corporate Tax Departments Will Start Hating Telecommuters (forbes.com)