Ed tor’s Note
Unoccupied office parks, vacant conference rooms, and empty desks are common in America’s urban cores. Over the last three decades, the U.S. has added roughly 2 billion square feet of office space to its existing pool, most of which today’s mobile workforce no longer needs. Moreover, at any given time, more than 50 percent of cubicles and workstations and 70 percent of executive offices are unoccupied. On top of that, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework. If the average use of workspace is 50 percent, then the company is wasting $4,000 to $7,000 per year for each employee. For companies, office space is the biggest office expense, and that’s in intangible spirit.
For better or worse, the American landscape is loaded with the massive untapped manmade resource known as ‘ office space.’ The rise of mobile workforce, self-employment, and skyhigh office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in business districts like the Financial District in Manhattan and San Francisco, Canary Wharf in London and Beijing Central Business District in China. To turn the spending into a utilitarian resource, companies are now tapping into the idea of densification – reducing footprint per employee. The underlying fundamentals suggest that companies in the near term will be able to capitalize on growing interest surrounding the Third Place model. Our Cover Story, ‘Burners Turn Earners,’ takes a look at the utopia where companies are using the existing framework to provide incredibly unique opportunity to the employee, the laptop entrepreneur, and declutter the unneeded, unused belongings. Plunge In!