Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Office Space Per Worker Will Drop to 100 Square Feet or Below for Many Companies Within Five Years, According to New Research From CoreNet Global, February 28, 2012

This is important for those interested in the Reston planning process (and, for that matter, the Tysons process) because the County is currently planning for 300 gross square feet (GSF) per office worker. 

In Reston, office space currently 85% of all non-residential space and it is the intent of the Task Force to increase that substantially around the Metrorail stations.  However, while we may want to target a certain high level of office workers for Reston's station areas, we do not want to offer two- or three-times the space those workers may attract.  In this Dillon Rule state, any space allocation given in the planning and zoning process becomes a "by right" landowner development opportunity.  We need to avoid allowing too much office space development in Reston because of its impact on the jobs:housing (J:HH) ratio which, in turn, creates added congestion, environmental damage, increased transportation infrastructure costs, and more. 

RCA has taken the position that the office space per worker should not exceed 200 GSF/employee.  This is a generous allocation given the trends reported by CoreNet Global.  On the other hand, we anticipate developers and their attorneys on the Reston Task Force will be deeply upset if Comprehensive Plan language reduces their development opportunities by one-third. 
ATLANTA, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- New data released today from CoreNet Global show for the first time that for many companies, the average allocation of office space per person in North America will fall to 100 square feet or below within the next five years.
By 2017, at least 40% of the companies responding indicated they will reach this all-time low benchmark of individual space utilization, which has been the case in Europe for the past several years but is now heading for the Americas.
The average for all companies for square feet per worker in 2017 will be 151 square feet, compared to 176 square feet today, and 225 square feet in 2010.
"The main reason for the declines," said Richard Kadzis , CoreNet Global's Vice President of Strategic Communications, "is the huge increase in collaborative and team-oriented space inside a growing number of companies that are stressing 'smaller but smarter' workplaces against the backdrop of continuing economic uncertainty and cost containment."
CoreNet Global, which conducted the survey, is the worldwide association for corporate real estate and workplace professionals.
Today, just 24 percent of the respondents reported that the average space per office worker is 100 square feet or less; however, 40 percent reported that within five years, the average space per office worker would be 100 square feet or less.
It is clear that the amount of space dedicated solely to specific employees is steadily shrinking. A majority of the respondents, 55 percent, reported that square feet per worker has already decreased between 5 and 25 percent over the last five years. . . .
Click here for the rest of this press release.  The full survey results study is available to CoreNet Global members; membership is expensive.

According to the press release, "CoreNet Global is the world's leading association for corporate real estate (CRE) and workplace professionals, service providers, and economic developers. Our more than 7,000 members, who include 70% of the top 100 U.S. companies and nearly half of the Global 2000, meet locally, globally and virtually to develop networks, share knowledge, learn and thrive professionally."

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