Flexibility is key in Perth office fitoutsThe physical workplace has changed to suit the modern workforce. Photo: Supplied

Flexibility is key in Perth office fitouts

Perth office designs are evolving, with business leaders recognising fitouts are an investment in employee productivity.

CBRE project management director Jess Surman said the physical workplace had the potential to influence and enhance productivity and increase collaboration, which had a financial benefit to a business.

“As real estate is typically one of the largest expenses for tenants, there has been more focus on how to use space more efficiently; through detailed utilisation studies prior to fit-out, in addition to real-time tracking during occupation,” she said.

“If areas are underutilised, then they can be modified into more efficient space use.

“There is a desire to fit out highly flexible spaces, that can be used for multiple purposes and/or business units, or alternatively flex from an office one week with minor changes to become a meeting room over the weekend.”

Density ratios have changed to meet tenant efficiency requirements with office fitouts being designed for density ratios from 1:10-1:12 (staff: square metres), Colliers International office leasing director Daniel Taylor said.

“The standard layout is for 100 to 300 square metres and consists of a boardroom, a meeting room, one office and open plan in the remaining area, with linear-style sitting and standing work stations,” he said.

“One of the most recent trends in fitted-out offices is the shift away from a reception area.

“Staffed front of house areas that take up a lot of floor space are almost a thing of the past.

“They have been replaced by small waiting areas with a buzzer because it’s a more efficient use of space.”

With a tenant shift to wireless workplaces, fitouts are also being completed without cabling.

Some fitouts are being offered with a flexible design so new tenants can add more offices/meeting rooms as needed.

Savvy owners have also been fitting out speculative tenancies to attract “set and forget” tenants.

Knight Frank head of office leasing WA Greg McAlpine said building owners who had gone on the front foot and improved their offering had been the most successful during the past year.

The nature of fitouts had changed with the pendulum of open-plan offices swinging back a little, with separate offices in large fitouts but no longer in peak locations with views, Mr McAlpine said.

There was still a strong push for staff break-out areas with a more relaxed feel, as well as interactive, industrial-style kitchen areas, he said.

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