Work has changed. The workplace hasn't really. Until now.
Combined, however, there is a surplus of space. It is estimated that 50% of all commercial real estate is vacant or unused at any given time. Because this space is not made available to other companies, we end up building new office spaces to meet market demand.
In any given office building the need for available space changes over time. In the course of a week, building change from being empty to overfilled. This forces companies to rent more office space to handle peak use—or to suffer crowded offices.
According to the IEA and UNEP, buildings account for more than one-third of energy use and CO2 emissions worldwide.
The World Economic Forum forecasts that 540 million square meters of new office space will be required by 2030.
An astounding 50% of all office space is estimated to be unused at any given time.
Since then, the world has changed, but the centralized workplace has pretty much stayed the same. Companies continue to build big headquarters, increasingly misaligned with the reality of modern work.
In the 18 and 1900s, factories defined the centralized workplace. The dependence on machines, materials and assembly lines required workers to all show up at the same location at the same time.
Despite measures like free seating and clean desk policies, the physical building's limitations are inevitable, and the traditional headquarter tend always to be suffering from either overcapacity or undercapacity.
The new generation of workers expects more freedom and variation in their work as everything becomes more digital. The result is a growing need for different types of workspaces, and the traditional office falls short.
The average worker in US and UK spends 200 hours commuting every year. Longer commutes are pushing the home prices in cities up, forcing people to move farther from the city, increasing the commutes every year.