As technology-enabled workplaces continue to evolve, companies are rethinking the locations of headquarters and regional hubs.
Excerpted from Area Development:
Companies are prioritizing agility and flexibility in their facilities—both in the design of the spaces and in the strategic decision of where to actually locate them.
“We’re not arbitrarily picking the locations for these places,” explains Bill Bouchey, director of design for interiors in HOK’s New York office. “We’ve done some internal work that tells us that there are people who would benefit from it—that people are actually asking for it. It’s a matter of how does this relate to where employees come from, and how do we create centers of excellence that appeal to the current demographic?”
Bouchey says locating facilities in areas that are convenient for workers is a matter of not only keeping existing workers satisfied but also of pursuing and attracting talent. For instance, he says companies often consider opening regional hubs in areas that are hotbeds for young, skilled knowledge workers.
“It’s important to first understand the objectives of a group,” Bouchey says. “You have to do this to right-size not only the footprint but to understand the attitudes and proclivities of each group. For instance, sales groups almost always can work in a smaller footprint and be out of the office 50 percent of the time, as long as when they come into the office they can shut a door somewhere and conduct a transaction call. So strategy comes first.”