Green buildings essential for next generation

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Colliers International’s Generation Y: Implications for Office Markets - the first in a series of reports - outlines implications for real estate as workplaces become jam-packed with Gen Y workers.

Doug Henry, Colliers International corporate solutions national director, says Australia will likely witness a number of changes within office markets as a result of the growing influence of Gen Y, on technological advancement and changing corporate employment structures.

“We are going to see an overall reduction in demand for office space as a result of increased implementation of [activity based working] ABW, as well as the more efficient use of the actual workspace,” Henry says.

The report says the orientation of the workplace will change, with a greater need for flexibility, which combines efficiently planned workstations with flexible meeting rooms and social space.

“We are likely to notice a much greater need for flexibility in the use of space, with implications for the underlying structure, technological platform and management of buildings,” Henry says.

“Space which genuinely conforms to sustainability standards – be it NABERS, Green Star or an alternative – will become a must-have. In particular, energy efficiency will be a critical component of meeting demand.”

“There will also be a greater demand for bespoke data centres, which will drive the growth of this relatively new niche market.”

The report says the way Gen Y operates in the workplace will shape future Australian offices.

“As well as being driven by the obvious and timeless desire for higher pay and better benefits, they [Gen Y workers] put a premium on interesting and challenging work and a work environment which meets their lifestyles and needs,” Henry says.

“The overriding impact on the workplace is the need for much greater flexibility, where project-based teams can be quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively set-up within the office environment and allowed to function on a rolling basis,” he says.

“The ability to work remotely is also increasingly in demand, facilitated by technological advances. This is a generation which wants to be judged on results rather than on their physical presence in the office.”

Henry says Gen Y workers also have an increasingly strong social conscience. “Whilst they want their employers to meet their ambitions, to offer them challenging roles and a work environment to suit their lifestyles, they also want their employers to demonstrate a commitment to social issues,” he says.

“Research reveals a clear majority prefer to work for an organisation with a commitment to social causes than for one without. In relation to the built environment, being green as an office occupier will become more of a ‘must have’ than a ‘nice to have’ in order to attract and retain staff.”

(via Property Council of Australia; image by Schiavello)

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