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Future office layouts for large organisations: workplace specialist and design firms’ perspective

Kusal Tharinda Nanayakkara (School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Sara Jane Wilkinson (Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Sumita Ghosh (School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 21 January 2021

Issue publication date: 7 April 2021

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458

Abstract

Purpose

Office layout arrangements have a significant influence on many important aspects of organisations, and design firms need to liaise with the client to determine the most appropriate design process. The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors design firms consider when designing new office layouts and the nature of future offices from the design and workplace strategist firms’ perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study comprising interviews with leading international and nation design firms and workplace strategy consultant firms in Australia. Qualitative data was analysed using a thematic approach, which adopted within case, and across case, analyses.

Findings

Research identified major factors considered when identifying appropriate workplace strategies. These included the existing and preferred culture of the organisation, the level of flexibility required, functionality and technology requirements, acoustic strategies, sense of community and generation gap between employees. Participants believed future offices would be technology driven, community oriented, sustainability, health and well-being focussed, smaller in size with satellite offices, such as co-working and office spaces.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for industry and academics, as it provides an in-depth understanding of workplace specialists’ and design firms’ perceptions of clients’ contemporary and future requirements from office spaces. It also illustrates what they look at when designing office spaces for large corporates.

Practical implications

Research demonstrates how the office environment should match with the physical and psychological needs of the organisation and its employees. Findings have practical applications to professionals in human resource management and the design, management, development and valuation of office buildings.

Originality/value

This paper provides in-depth insights into how design firms and workplace strategists meet organisations’ changing demand for physical spaces, their main considerations in developing new workplace strategies, process followed and nature of future workplace in Australian context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disciplines presented in the paper: Corporate real estate, Property, Built environment

Citation

Nanayakkara, K.T., Wilkinson, S.J. and Ghosh, S. (2021), "Future office layouts for large organisations: workplace specialist and design firms’ perspective", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 69-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRE-02-2020-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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