While open office designs have been the norm for more than 60 years, co-working has taken root in the last decade within excess real estate. According to the Building Owners and Managers Association’s Jan./Feb. 2017 BOMA Magazine, “The trend of corporate co-working does not appear to be a passing fad.” Beyond the freelancers and independent contracts, co-working offices can comprise as much as 25% of corporations’ total leased space. This is especially true of the concentration-intensive tech industry.
Studies show that up to 90% of an organization’s resources are spent on its workers, while less than 10% is spent on their physical workplace. Traditional, open office designs are characterized by their large, monolithic “drop” ceiling spans since suspended grid systems were developed in the 1950s. Co-working spaces often retain the previous tenant’s ceiling systems, which may be a suspended system with old acoustic panels that have inadequate noise absorption performance or a completely exposed view of the space’s structural and mechanical workings that has almost no noise absorption capability at all.