What 2018 holds for office landlords and occupiers

Colliers’ office experts outline the Top 5 Office trends for 2018.

Colliers International’s experts from the office asset class have identified the five major trends that will shape Australian workplaces in 2018.

The Top 5 Office trends that landlords and occupiers will need to adopt as part of their real estate strategy are: Flexibility; Security and Safety; Technology; Space Consolidation and Share Facilities; and, Placemaking.

“Whether you’re a landlord or an occupier, these are the trends that will shape office strategies in 2018 and deliver immense benefits to the workplace,” said Simon Hunt, Managing Director of Office leasing at Colliers International.

“Owners must understand intimately the office requirements of current and future occupiers in a technological environment which is constantly evolving.

“This requires a high level of market intelligence and expertise, drawn from global best practice and experience.”

Competitive pressures are pushing companies to implement new strategies which increase efficiencies and attract the best talent, and their office solutions need to reflect these requirements.   

“Technology is the golden thread that runs through every successful property solution for occupiers in an ever-changing office environment,” said Doug Henry, Managing Director, Occupier Services at Colliers International.

“Office space must be designed with these ends in mind as companies increasingly seek to benefit from collaboration, agility and technology.” 


Flexibility is not new when referring to real estate requirements, however it is expected this trend will proliferate in 2018 throughout the office sector in co-working spaces, and in particular with co-working providers targeting major corporates as opposed to just start-up companies like we have seen in the United States. In addition, the flexibility trend will extend to occupiers sub-leasing space to co-working providers which will result in productivity enhancements as well as increased opportunities for innovation.

Security & Safety

Security in buildings is becoming more prevalent and building owners are now considering more advanced methods such as facial recognition, finger print scanning and phone ID scanning, rather than the traditional pass cards. Another important aspect of security that businesses need to consider is cyber-security. Hackers are extremely prevalent and without the right security in place, there can be major risks to the business and people inside.


As technology evolves, smart buildings and robotic technology are expected to gain significant momentum in 2018. Smart buildings utilise imbedded sensors and analytic technology to allow owners and occupiers to monitor and adjust energy usage, lighting levels, daylight penetration, fresh air, humidity and temperature control, elevator usage and other metrics to improve user comfort and maximise energy savings. AI (Artificial Intelligence) continues to be a hot topic and is likely to result in a reduction in physical staffing roles, as process and even some analytical driven roles are replaced by robotics.

Space Consolidation & Shared Facilities

Over the past few years we’ve seen some occupiers moving from a 1:10 staff/sqm ratio to a 1:8 for some parts of their workspaces, a trend we are expecting to increase, particularly within major CBD
areas where space is becoming more expensive. Owners need to understand their occupiers’ core space needs versus their ‘flexible space’ needs. Many modern office buildings provide shared facilities (flexible space) within their asset that is specific to the building’s occupiers.


Building owners and occupiers will consider “placemaking” a core component of the future strategy for any commercial building and workplace. Building owners are using programmed cultural activities,
wellness amenities, improved ground plane experiences and partnerships with occupiers, retailers and service providers to make a place that attracts and connects with the new hyper mobile workforce.

The top five trends we expect will impact owners and occupiers in 2018 and have been derived from our office experts.

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