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The New Office Space Dynamic

In addition to my managing Korn Ferry’s global real estate practice, I also serve as the managing partner of our New York Office. This role provides me with an opportunity to observe the dramatic and dynamic changes occurring in office utilization and occupancy trends.

Last week, we relocated 40 members of our team to a WeWork location to address growth issues. Shifting occupancy to a new location also provided us with more flexibility in our primary office space.

Initially, I was concerned that employees would potentially be reluctant to move offices. Instead, the move was so well received that we were over-subscribed with interested parties, primarily those in the millennial and boomer generations. The option of hoteling, having a more social atmosphere and smaller but more collegial open-space designs that promote a different kind of office experience appealed to many of our team members.

The experiment very well may have a significant long-term impact on how we think about our office facilities needs. This also made me think about older office buildings, with which owners are unable to compete with new buildings that are designed to respond to current and future tenant needs. Upgrades and redesigns don’t come cheap, and those owners need to be nimble, flexible and creative to level to playing field.

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