Will This Emerging Trend Benefit Nashville Entrepreneurs?

Emerging Office Trends

Emerging Office Trends

Nashville is a haven for entrepreneurship.

Local support for startups is attracting talent over San Francisco and Austin – quite an accolade for a small Southern city.

Nashville's growth earned it a 5th place national ranking in the 2016 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship Growth.

Organizations like the Entrepreneur Center, EO, and Launch TN provide numerous resources to aid businesses during the launch and growth stages.

Intelligent entrepreneurs aim for a lean startup.

Prior to the emergence of co-working space, that meant working with your team from home or in coffee shops.

Sure, co-working has been a massive benefit to these companies.

Most people don’t want to work from home if they can avoid it.

But how do you take the next step?

If your business is growing, you’re likely adding more employees and need more space.

Not to mention the privacy and status offered by your own office.

Many Nashville entrepreneurs have found themselves between a rock and a hard place.

How do I get my own office without taking on too large of a space and too many expenses?

A shift toward office efficiency.

Business owners these days don’t care to have an oversized corner office sheltered from their team.

They want to be in the trenches, working side-by-side with employees.

After all, marketing could learn a thing or two from engineering - and vice versa.

This collaboration allows for more efficient systems, processes, and development.

Ideas that may have otherwise never come to fruition become daily topics of discussion.

Office efficiency has also sparked a downward trend in square footage occupied per employee.

Obviously because new designs often don't include large, private offices.

Averages have dropped nearly 10% in the last few years, and I expect they’ll drop a bit further before leveling out.

The open floorplan? Not the solution.

If your office has an open floorplan, chances are good that your employees hate it.

And for good reason.

Despite the office being physically “open,” it feels cramped and noisy.

You can’t have a conversation or a phone call without the entire team listening in.

It’s a distraction to everyone and a detriment to your company’s health.

Employers were able to get away with these open floor plans during the downturn when the job market was tough.

But the market has changed.

Employees have options, and you should ditch the open floorplan regardless.

So, do we return to traditional office space?

Hell no.

Here’s the future of the office space layout.

Wagon Wheel Title Office

Wagon Wheel Title Office

Wagon Wheel Title did it right.

These Nashville entrepreneurs recently constructed their own office in East Nashville.

They hired architect David Baird to design an efficient floor plan that had the benefits of both traditional and open office space.

That included:

  • Collaborative work spaces and lounges

  • Large hallways and tall ceilings

  • Private offices

The balance between private and open space is crucial.

Their employees can work from a sofa, a farm table, or enjoy privacy in their offices.

Note how much smaller the private offices are – less than 50 square feet apiece.

Yet, the large doorways and efficient layout provides exactly what Wagon Wheel needed.

Wagon Wheel Office

Wagon Wheel Office

This floorplan would be conducive to just about any business, should the owners ever decide to move.

Having a large hallway also allows them to entertain many clients at once, as it serves as an event space.

We’re finally trimming the fat off outdated workspace.

Amenities aren’t just for apartment complexes.

Wagon Wheel’s office is a wonderful example of a standalone building – what about office towers?

They can certainly offer floor plans in a similar fashion, and many do.

And because of the scale of the projects, they’re also offering amenities like fitness centers, coffee bars, and bike racks.

Landlords actually benefit when tenants take smaller space.

I know, it seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out.

Property owners can charge more on a square foot basis, while tenants still pay less than they would otherwise.

Floorplan efficiency is everything.

The average size of office leases is trending downwards while desirability increases.

A win for Nashville entrepreneurs.

Better floorplans + better amenities = better business.

Nashville entrepreneurs will be able to offer their current and prospective employees improved work environments.

The ability to more easily grow your office space will prove to be an substantial benefit to Nashville’s startup environment.