Office space is no longer just a place to work, but rather a recruiting tool. Prospective employees not only are evaluating their financial compensation, additionally they investigate the work environment. The new office model encompasses much smaller footprint per employee while many more collaborative areas.
The recent TripAdvisor and New Balance office unveilings in the greater Boston area have included variations on the same theme: these buildings are necessary to attract young talent.
With their spiffy, modern, amenity-filled new digs, these companies are competing with the likes of Google, Apple, and Amazon to get the top talent in the country and the world.
Credit: Boston Globe
The city of Boston continues to expand by building more residential and office buildings in areas once thought too far from the mainstream. Industrial and flex users have felt that impact along with office tenants that occupied old industrial buildings that have gone through complete renovations. $12 PSF office rents in the Boston Wharf portfolio from 15 years ago are now in the upper $40’s PSF.
From the Boston Globe:
Yet as real estate prices surge and development pushes into places that were long neglected, the pressures are rising on industrial space all over the city. Boston has just 3.6 square miles of land zoned for industrial use, less seemingly every week. Two prominent properties in the South End, for example, Quinzani’s Bakery on Harrison Avenue and the Flower Exchange on Albany Street, are being sold to developers.
“Not everybody works for Fidelity or Vertex,” said Michael Vaughan, a development consultant who is helping the food wholesalers in Widett Circle negotiate a potential move. “This is how people earn a good living and stay in the city of Boston. The challenge is how do you make sure there’s room for them in a very land-poor city.”
What will it look like? Let’s take a play out of our kids playbook by tapping into the gaming technology and apply it to proposed architecture. Tsoi/Kobus & Associates in Cambridge is doing just that by using Revizto to create a digital building. Put on the virtual reality goggles and let’s go for a walk.
To “enter” a building, the client dons a pair of Oculus virtual reality goggles and gets an immersive first-person view. If she turns her head to the right, she sees what’s to the right. If she walks down stairs, using a joystick or keyboard commands to move, she feels a slight bounce on each step. She can walk through doors or go up on the roof to get a sense of how it will feel to be inside the space.
Another magical part? All of this can be done before a contract for a building is even awarded and could eliminate the need for creating life-size physical mock-ups out of plywood — making the whole process much more efficient.