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Office Space of the Future is All About Choice

LOS ANGELES – Coworking is here to stay, though it’s admittedly evolving as it matures. But how does it fit into the office of the future? We asked Lauren Pattison, vice president of Marketing at LiquidSpace, about this and other alternative office space questions.

What are the key trends you are seeing in the coworking world?

Coworking has expanded substantially, growing 200 percent year-over-year for the last seven years, according to DeskMag. This means new players beyond the early adopters and a broadened awareness around third places in general. While most coworkers are still freelancers and entrepreneurs, company employees are a rapidly growing segment.

Is the coworking world itself evolving? If so, how?

Absolutely. We’re seeing the coworking world grow up quite a bit as it becomes less insular. There are lots of questions around how to continue to foster community, how to expand to the corporate realm, and how to ensure longevity in the business.

We hear a lot of talk about mobility. But how is this trend really impacting office space?

Enterprises are experiencing disruptive change in how their employees can work driven by improved technology thanks to easy to use devices like smartphones and tablets. Enterprises are also enabling low cost software through smartphone and web-based applications and feeling pressure to optimize their real estate portfolios to reduce under-utilization, meet cost targets, and reduce carbon emissions.

As multiple generations of workers now influence the war for talent, enterprises have to respond if they hope to retain the knowledge capital of their Baby Boomers and attract the millennial generation of workers who will choose their employers more so based on their technology platform, than on physical space offer.

What’s the biggest challenge for mobile workers, as you see it?

Providing opportunities for serendipitous collaboration while maintaining a distributed workforce. We know there is heightened productivity that comes from mobile working, but we also need to find ways to create opportunities for collaboration and quick ideation.

What’s the next step in the future of the office?

The future of work is all about workers making their workplace choices on a real-time basis. What space do you need to be most productive today? Company office, home, business center downtown, coworking venue… We now have the choice at our fingertips. LiquidSpace enables this choice by providing workers software in both mobile app and web portal form that allows them to browse for space, book instantly, and get work done in the space that meets their needs.

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About the Author

Jennifer LeClaire

Jennifer LeClaire is a veteran business journalist, editor and new media entrepreneur with a strong niche in real estate and technology. She works from a home office on the beach in South Florida. You can reach her through LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/jleclaire

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