A Conversation on Return-to-Office with Morten Meisner-Jensen, Co-Founder of ROOM

A fully outfitted ROOM workspace
ROOM’s Phone Booth
ROOM’s Open Meeting Room
ROOM’s Meeting Room
  • Culture and relationships: Companies are looking to build and retain talent and to create team culture. JLL’s Future of Flex report shared that 73% of global workers would prefer to work from places that offer a destination for human connection. Remote work has helped us get through a pandemic and strengthened our ability to be effective from afar, but team culture, relationships, and day-to-day interactions have taken a back seat and teams are feeling the pain. Employers who master a combination of maintaining flexibility and promoting connection will prevail.
  • Flexibility: No one knows what the workspace will look like in six months or a year from now, yet alone the average 5–10 years of a commercial lease. For this reason, many of our clients, from the smallest startups to Fortune 500s, are looking for ways to build for adaptability. Our purpose-built, modular solutions are crucial in allowing companies to effortlessly shape and reshape their workplaces, by offering agility and flexibility, saving time and money on traditional construction, and making it easier to react to the changing world around us.
  • Balance (or Work-Life Balance): Employers have started to focus on offering better work experiences focused on their people. A great workplace supports more than just work — now people expect health and wellness, as well as true time off, to be built into a company’s work strategy.
ROOM’s Focus Rooms
  • Demand for flexibility in commercial real estate will skyrocket. Desire for short-term leases is going to skyrocket in the next decade. We’re going to see lease terms change and a number of new flexible solutions from landlords converting part of their portfolio to spec suites, flexible office providers offering access to workspaces similar to fitness subscriptions, and many new startups trying to meet the demand.
  • Architecture will be adaptable. In a world with short-term leases and flexible workspace offerings, traditional builds and construction will come up short. Simply put, it’s too slow, too expensive, and too inflexible to change. This challenge is at the center of why we started ROOM and decided to pioneer a new system of adaptive architecture: the idea that we can change the game on how you build, and more importantly, rebuild, great workspaces.
  • Work is no longer only at the office. Companies will need more than just a return-to-office policy. The workplace of tomorrow is changing and has new boundaries. There is an opportunity to rethink the physical workplace to create spaces where employees not only want to be, but can do their best individual and collective work. Employees’ variety of work settings must now also include the home and third workplace. Workers will now expect the ability to work remotely, and the autonomy to match their work to the right setting.
  • The future of work is green. As expectations mount for businesses to be environmentally responsible, companies continue to look for sustainable solutions to their needs. When it comes to the built environment, fixed construction is one of the biggest culprits of carbon emissions. In fact, every year 600 million tons of construction debris end up in landfill as a result of the old being replaced with the new. More than 90% of the time when an office changes, tenants’ walls are torn down only to build up new ones to fit an updated way of working or a new company’s needs. This is why prefabricated, modular architecture like we create at ROOM will be the best alternative for companies to create flexible, more sustainable workplaces that adapt with the constant change of business and enable a better way of working.

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