Commercial property industries have been booming in recent years with the expansion of companies and the increase in jobs available in the market. While exciting, the industry is also tackling some of the biggest challenges it has ever seen. During these times, it’s imperative that transformational change is embraced, and various macro trends are monitored.

Innovation and technology have taken center stage and the regular cookie-cutter office towers that previously dominated cityscapes in the past simply won’t cut it anymore. New trends are taking over, and there’s a need for the industry to move with the times. Some that are expected to shape the office landscape in the upcoming years include buildings that are more sustainable, integration of technologies, and a building that’s more than just a brick and mortar place to work.

The Rise Of Sustainability

As of 2018, 68% of the world population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. This means that there’s going to be a growing demand for office spaces in these areas as well. Sustainable building practices in particular will rise in popularity, and green buildings will continue to be a major trend in the construction industry. An example would be Green construction which essentially refers to building a structure in both an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient way.

According to Commercial property managers, commercial buildings in the future may have features like increased energy-efficiency, rooftop gardens, usage of green walls, bricks made from recycled cigarettes, and more. While sustainability may be a growing trend, it’s also important for all buildings to be disaster-proof for safety, and have the highest grade of waterproofing to ensure structural resilience.

Technological Advancements

Investments in real estate technology are expected to soar and will result in a change in the way commercial buildings are delivered. Say hello to 3D printed buildings, and offices that don’t just have high-speed Wi-Fi, and 5G capabilities, but also have sensors that monitor light, carbon dioxide, noise, temperature, and even track each individual’s movements and health for optimal productivity.

New technology will also be utilized in the construction of buildings with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning that’s expected to perform intricate capabilities such as the automatic analysis and design of buildings.

More Than Just An Office

While the location of the office is key as more and people want to work close to restaurants, cafes, and other services, shared spaces have also been an up and coming trend as it’s the perfect balance between working from home and at a traditional head office.

With Generation Z however, they’ll represent about 36% of the workforce by 2020, and their coming of age and sheer numbers make them a generation that simply can’t be ignored. While they’re more reserved than the earlier generation – Millennials, Generation Z is incredibly competitive, thoughtful, and enjoy supporting purpose-led developments that have a key motivation, theme, or area of focus.

As Generation Z starts to come into the workforce, innovation starts to play an integral part in the office landscape. It’s no longer just an office, but a place where there’s an intersection of creativity, entrepreneurship, place and more. There’s a need to focus on the employee experience, and employers are doing exactly that by focusing on curating an office that’s primed in attracting the best talent.

In The Near Future

As the industry moves into the future, it’s not an easy feat to balance all of the factors mentioned above. Not only is there a need for buildings to be sustainable, new technologies should also be adapted, and offices need to be shaped for a new generation of talent. While it’s undeniable that these are massive challenges, it’s something that the industry would definitely be able to tackle.

As long as the industry keeps up to date with the upcoming trends, and welcomes the idea of transformation, there’s no reason why commercial properties wouldn’t overcome this hurdle and come out both wiser and stronger on the other side.

Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo News, and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.

Office landscape stock photo by voyata/Shutterstock