Return to SIOR Pulse Blog

5 Big Office Trends We’re Watching for 2018

Headquarter Highlights

For the last few years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of remote workers. Technology makes it so that business can be conducted almost entirely online. However, with vacancy rates down and annual returns on office space increasing, employers are taking cues from retail.

Retailers are using technology and innovative space to lure traffic back to their physical stores. Likewise, these 5 big office trends are aimed at luring workers back to the office.


#1: Making Work the Place to Be

The workforce today is younger and tech-centric. Yet when employers provide an office space that is comfortable, energetic, and green, it has a positive effect on worker productivity. One of the top office trends for 2018 will be more enhancements to the work environment.

Natural accents like bamboo wall dividers or gurgling waterfalls in the office are some of the trends we’ve seen over the last year. Expect this year to utilize technology to create cleaner indoor air, encourage more green transportation to the office, and outdoor green spaces where employees can gather for lunch and meetings.

#2: Transforming Old Office Parks into New Communities

Another trend that is expected to heat up over the next year is the overall transformation of old massive office parks. These spaces that span hundreds of acres are being eyed as new sites for community parks, baseball fields, and apartment buildings.

IBM has a 700 acre office campus that has been bought by a company that plans to turn it into the “largest indoor sports” dome in America. In Arizona, one abandoned office campus is being turned into an urban community situated in the heart of suburbia complete with walking paths, a bus system, restaurants, shops, and hotels.

#3: Bringing Life and Play to the Office

Millennials like the convenience of biking to work, walking to lunch, and picking up their dry cleaning next door to the office. Now that they make up the majority of the workforce, expect the next year to bring more lifestyle convenience to office spaces. Developers and buyers are looking at spaces that are conveniently located near public transportation, restaurants, schools, and grocery stores to attract workers back to the office.

#4: Reinventing Workspaces inside the Office

Cubicle farms have been coming down for about a decade to create more open-concept office layouts. In 2018, expect more innovation in indoor office design. The big trend is in “alternative seating.” Instead of every worker being chained to a desk, offices are designating different areas for different type of work.

For instance, there are new quiet rooms and lounge areas throughout the office to allow workers the freedom to move around while still working. According to one study, of the large offices surveyed, more than half utilized alternative seating.

#5: Building Amenities into Office Spaces

The multifamily sector has been using bigger and fancier amenities to attract tenants to those properties for years. Now the office sector is doing the same, building amenities into office designs that will attract younger talent to the office.

Surprisingly, tech savvy millennials actually prefer more face-to-face interactions than previously believed. As West Coast tech companies like Google and Facebook have proven, in order to attract remote workers back to the physical office, today’s employees want amenities on the job.

On-site restaurants replace vending machines. Bus shuttles to and from work and paid gym memberships for gyms inside of the office or in the complex are just some of the amenities coming to the office sector in 2018.



The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR) represents the world’s elite in industrial and office brokerage. SIORs are held to the highest standard by completing thorough requirements and adhering to the SIOR Code of Ethics. SIOR is more than a designation, it’s a symbol of excellence. SIORs value the power that comes with building relationships and sharing ideas that are on the leading edge of the industry. They are the most trusted resource in commercial real estate. For more information, visit