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Bisnow | Houston Workplace of the Future and Commercial Real Estate

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Speakers: Pamela Ewton, Project Manager, Shell Real Estate; Mark Gribbons, Design Director, Gensler; Nathan Lenahan, Head of Operations-South, WeWork; Justin Segal, President, Boxer Property; David Walker, Partner, OpenWork Agency

Moderator: Jim Tainter, Managing Director, Landlord Services, NAI Partners


Below are highlights from the event:

How is tech evolving the traditional workplace?

  • Coworking, or shared office space, has been rising in popularity for the past decade.
  • Flexible working environments provide greater job satisfaction, and help employees balance home versus office.
  • The coworking evolution is disrupting the traditional real estate market, creating additional alternatives for space.

How are our workplaces changing and are they going to change us?

  • Many large companies are incorporating open office designs to promote creativity and collaboration.
  • Well-designed and well-organized work environments create a positive experience for employees allowing them to thrive.
  • While some in the workforce value constantly flowing beverages, onsite gyms and pet-friendly offices, employees of all generations care about the benefits and perks that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the potential for a better life.

What expanded technologies and employee-driven cultural amenities are already being incorporated?

  • Amenities within a coworking space typically include a café, gym, collaborative common spaces, shared meeting/conference rooms, and phone booths for private calls.
  • There is an increasing focus on the user experience. Two of the hottest buzzwords in the workspace industry right now are “consumerization” and “user-centered.”
  • Many companies employ a culture coordinator to assist with change management and transforming the organization’s business goals, strategies, and its evolving brand and culture.

Today’s younger tech-savvy workforce are seeking forward-thinking work environments.

  • When recruiting, they want to know about the company’s culture and values. Introducing candidates to current team members during the interview process gives them a sense of the company.
  • Social media is vital to project your company’s values and mission.
  • In the next five years, all of the talk around millennials will feel as dated and “of a specific time period” as bell bottoms. There will be less comparing millennials and open space environments to baby boomers and private offices, and more discussions around workers regardless of age cohort and their associated spaces.

Leta Wauson
Director of Research
[email protected]
tel 713 275 9618

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