When we think of 21st century-born techs such as Google, there is a tendency to imagine very flexible working conditions. Ping-pong tables. Couches and video games. Glass dividers rather than offices with doors. In-office coffee shops and stand-up work tables. And of course, work conditions so flexible that many employees would work remotely rather than in the office. The latter specifically would be the expectation currently in the era of COVID.
However, as the tech giant grows, it has been studying productivity models, and looking inward. Consequently, the Google corporation Alphabet has been planning for more traditional business environment alternatives to these free-going, remote-working expectations. More specifically, Alphabet has been investing more heavily in office construction. While these past couple COVID years have seen many Alphabet employees work primarily remotely, the company has assessed that productivity has actually decreased. Therefore, Alphabet believes that investing more on physical building construction will increase productivity by bringing staff back to the office. This doesn’t just mean renovation – Alphabet is investing in both fit-out and ground-up construction.
Fit-out construction can be considered renovation, but more specifically it means renovating commercial building space for the needs of the new occupant (or even upgraded needs of the old occupant). Often, the first step to fit-out construction is to get the space to the stage of a “white box.” A “white box” or “shell” could mean knocking out walls or dividers, pulling up old flooring, re-finishing walls with white paint, and so on. With this more “naked” space, fit-out construction can begin to fit the tenant requirements.
There is often an architect involved to re-design the physical space to fit the new occupant needs. Once approved by the tenant and landlord (if necessary), the fit-out construction can take place to meet the new design specs. These specs can include everything from new walls or dividers to wall and flooring finishes to signage and industrial equipment locations and needs. Alternatively, of course ground-up construction means starting from just land (or previously demolished buildings) and building from there.
Alphabet is using both construction strategies to bring employees back to the “physical” office again – even in the era of COVID – with expectations of increased productivity.
To learn more on this, see the original article on bisnow.com.