By Karen Axelton

Are offices getting smaller? A convergence of factors—employers looking to cut real estate costs, a growing remote work force, and employees used to working collaboratively—are leading to the demise of the traditional office and the rise of smaller footprints for workspaces, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The old-fashioned corner office with doors that shut and expansive space has been on the way out for several years now. But according to the Times, even cubicles or “cube farms” are giving way to still smaller and more flexible work arrangements.

Here are some of the trends the Times notes:

  • Small “touch down stations” where workers can grab a spot with their laptops and work.
  • Cubicles laid out to encourage collaboration, without high walls
  • More “teaming” spaces, such as mini-conference rooms for small groups to work collaboratively.
  • Informal meeting spaces and common areas with plenty of plugs for laptops
  • What’s behind all the change? Younger workers are more used to working in groups and working wherever they happen to be, not just in a set “desk” area. Another key factor is the rise of mobile computing. One expert cited in the article pointed out that the workplace today is “just now becoming accustomed to the PC” and offers this thought-provoking quote:  “It may take us another 30 years to fully engage and adapt with mobility, [but] the mobile Internet may be bigger than electricity as a technological advancement.”