Demographics are changing in the tech industry, but what does that mean for office space? 

In 2019, tech companies continue to see substantial growth in most major cities in the US. This year, Minneapolis SaaS companies alone account for nearly 30,000 job postings. Check out your city here. But the types of roles being filled are changing as many companies move away from needing a primarily technical team. In fact, Glassdoor reported this year that 43% of the jobs being filled within tech companies are for non-technical rolesHow might this, and other workforce trends, affect traditionally techie filled offices?

Diversity, inclusion and belonging

The business case for having a more diverse workplace continues to be made. A Boston Consulting Group study this year found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation, and companies are paying attention. WIRED reports a growing number of women working at three tech giants in the last five years. 

In addition to diversity, inclusion and belonging are hot topics in the workplace. Teams are striving to create safe environments that allow employees to have differences without being marginalised for them. 

Age diversity is also a factor. By 2020, 36% of our workforce will be Generation Z, a population who has never lived without the internet or smartphones. Meanwhile, we’ve got some of the oldest professionals still in the game – baby boomers who continue pushing back their retirement. Workspaces will have to balance the “smart” office with all things IOT, and an environment an older crowd can feel productive in. 

Office space in the age of ‘flexible working’

With the gig economy still on the rise, office space is now for short term (gig based) collaborators, and employees who likely have an option for flexible working. IWG Annual Global workplace survey says over half of employees globally work outside of their official office for at least 2.5 days a week.

On the flip side, there’s also a concern that many employers who offer flexible work have even more of a task in providing a productive workspace when the team is having face time. 

“Businesses looking to grow, expand nationally or internationally and become more agile need to ensure employees and management are aligned on a flexible working approach: what it means for their different workers, what they need to provide and how best to establish a flexible working culture for all-round maximum gains.” – Mark Dixon, IWG. 

If you’re wondering if your space could be more conducive to your teams’ work style and culture, get a professional opinion on your space’s workflow vs. industry standard. 

Is your office socially conscious?

More employees are looking to align with employers that have a social mission. In one Cone Communication Study, 75% of millennials stated they’d take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. There are things to integrate into a workplace that would make a socially conscious team more connected to their company. 

Providing the proper facilities to recycle, keeping a compost bucket in the kitchen, putting out donation boxes for a number of causes, or using sustainable vendors for things like your coffee can be great ways to showcase this awareness to your team. 

Wellness as a growing priority

It’s anticipated that by 2021, 90 percent of wellness plans in the U.S. will include health trackers. Paying attention to our health permeates each part of our life, the workplace being no exception.  

Fitness resources in your office can be a great way to address this, like lunchtime yoga classes or a treadmill desk. Having amenities like bike racks, showers, fitness centers and even more natural lighting go a long way in encouraging employee health as well.  

Amenities to support mental health are also considerations. Prayer rooms, sleeping pods, or a meditation area can be great fits for certain teams.

Transparency, fluidity, and ‘superjobs’

Today’s labor market is healthy, growing, and changing fast. It’s more transparent and focused on skills rather than job titles, than ever.

“Superjobs” are roles that combine work and responsibilities from multiple traditional jobs, using technology to both augment and broaden the scope of the work performed and involve a more complex set of domain, technical, and human skills. The fact that this type of role is on the rise is a testament to the fluidity and synergy offices require. 

Glass interior offices, strategic open spaces, and even workstations positioned to ensure maximum natural light are all ways to nurture the more cross functional, less hierarchical feel many teams are looking to establish. 

The choice of where we work is one of the most important decisions in the majority of Americans’ lives. Mercer’s annual study, which gathers views of over 7,300 business executives, HR leaders, and employees from around the world, showed that 73% of companies expect significant disruption, and 99% are taking action to prepare for the Future of Work. 

How will you build an office environment that’s ready for this wave of change? 

To discuss, you can reach out to Eddie Rymer at, or 651-226-7835.

Eddie Rymer
SVP - Avison Young