woman working from desk

The Evolution of the Office

What once brought a fairly universal set of images to mind – cubicles, break rooms, and copy areas – can now mean just about anything.

Just what “the office” looks like these days varies widely: it could be a dedicated space in a commercial facility on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the remainder of the week, it’s a kitchen table. It could be a rotating space found via an open reservation system. Regardless, with this expanded definition comes an expanded set of challenges for companies looking to generate the greatest ROI on square footage per person, maintain employee productivity and connectivity, align with company culture, and meet corporate standards for sustainability.

Depending on corporate culture, company budget and goals, and employee preferences, GWS is hearing – and delivering solutions for – a wide range of needs in commercial facilities. Here are the top four trends in office moving that GWS is talking to clients about right now:
  1. Dark moves: The name for this type of move may sound foreboding, but its impacts – including minimized disruption to employees and enhanced business continuity – are anything but. In this type of move, selected employee office contents and furniture are packed and staged for employee pick-up. Move crews are often assigned to help load items into employees’ cars for transport to their homes.

    As part of GWS’ dark move service, photo documentation of all items packed, as well as updates on overall project status, can be tracked and reported through our LINKTM technology, giving visibility to the entire process.

    While often performed to facilitate a hybrid work environment, in some cases, dark moves are used as part of a plan to vacate space. In these cases, GWS can also offer decommissioning services and prepare the space to return to the landlord.

person helping load car with boxes
  1. Flexible workspaces: In some cases, clients are moving away from the assigned workspace model in favor of a more flexible, on-demand arrangement. Such shifting arrangements call for any variety of services, including space planning, furniture procurement and/or disposition, move management, installation, and more. In order to adapt to the current environment but still create a space that fosters innovation, collaboration, and overall culture, companies should align themselves with an expert who can assist with a short-term vision, but also, consider additional space options that can adapt to rapidly changing needs.
  1. Ongoing workplace support needs: Many companies are launching pilot programs to try new ways of working, an effort aimed at learning what works best before investing in new workplace concepts across their entire real estate portfolios. The rationale for such a move is to test and learn what is most effective and scalable for employees over time.

    In order to assess the efficacy of different strategies, measurement and reporting tools, such as LINKTM, can help companies capture data. This is key to identifying gaps in current workplace elements, which inform decisions to add, reduce, modify, or refine current spaces. For such an approach, where needs may evolve fluidly over time, a flexible, agile partner is needed. The ideal partner will be able to both design/plan a space AND execute on the plan through moving, installation, and other services. GWS’ model – which supports clients before, during, and after office moves – aligns perfectly.

  1. Sustainable solutions: As spaces continue to evolve, companies may find themselves needing to repurpose or divest themselves of assets. Rather than turning to the landfill, companies can work with a partner who can offer options to suit their needs, such as:
  • Smarter storage solutions: It can be painful to pay a storage bill each month without fully understanding the value it brings. An auto-reservation alternative, which alerts clients when the storage costs of an individual item are no longer profitable, enables data-driven redeployment or donation decisions

  • Sustainable decommissioning: Through our partnership with an award-winning, woman-owned, 501(c)(3) company, GWS matches and stewards office furniture, appliances, supplies, and building materials back to the community, serving local schools, non-profits, and public agencies.

    In addition to impacting the triple bottom line (People, Planet, Prosperity), clients’ decommissioning results are independently audited, resulting in a detailed tax receipt for donations. Clients also receive a certificate detailing the total landfill diversion in metric tons as well as separate categories the surplus took through reuse, resale, repurpose, and recycle.

    In 2021, GWS was awarded the distinction of Stewardship Champion for “outstanding dedication to the mission of social and environmental sustainability”. We are fully committed to supporting our clients’ sustainability initiatives.

Let us help you evolve your office

Let us help you evolve your office