Sutton’s Vice President, Joe Lewis, recently mentioned that at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century there was a need for substantial spaces to produce large quantities of products with machines of considerable size. In order to accommodate this type of work, buildings were constructed with large windows, tall ceilings and open floor plans. Now, in the 21st century there is a need for large spaces in order for people to collaborate and work together. The buildings built in the 19th and 20th centuries are providing the space desired by the millennial generation, who want natural light and roomy, flexible space where they can spend their work days.


To look further into this trend, Sutton’s Marketing Associate, Taylor Light, sat down with Sutton’s newest Real Estate Salesperson and millennial, Cody Radziewicz. Together they broke down SIOR’s recently published blog article titled “5 Millennial-Led Office Design Trends CRE should be Paying Attention To.



“Cody, the article mentions millennials are dominating contemporary professionalism and shaking up the way business gets done. What do you think us as millennials are doing to shake up the business world?”


“The way that millennials are shaking up business is with our ability to be able to both work and enjoy ourselves at the same time. Millennials are able to balance multiple things at once; given the ability to accomplish not only one task but multiple. Most importantly we can accomplish these multiple tasks at once without feeling overwhelmed. The world is changing so fast, many people are trying to adapt but we (millennials) were born in this fast paced, hardworking, ever-changing work environment where we are not only succeeding but thriving as well.”



“The article states that millennials are changing office spaces and that it is vital for Commercial Real Estate to keep up with the fast moving trends. As a  millennial and a salesperson how are you keeping up with the changing environment?”


“I don’t know if I try to look at it is keeping up with the changing world but trying to stop and not have it pass me by. I am trying to learn from my mistakes but not dwell on them either. I try to look forward to the future and what it has to hold for me. As an individual, I try to always live by the saying, “be where your feet are” and because of this I try to live in the moment. I did not realize how true this say was until I graduated college and now I want to make the most out of every opportunity in front of me.”



“The article lists five hot office trends: turning back to nature, specialized lounge areas, flexibility is key, less is more and co-working spaces. How relevant do you think these trends are? Are you seeing this in the CRE world?”


“I think these trends are very relevant in today’s world. The main reason being recruitment, a space with character and energy is what these trends are representing. I am finding that companies who are following these trends in terms of office design are having an easier time recruiting younger professionals. I have been starting to see these trends come to life in the CRE world; many older spaces are getting built-out or re-developed to fit these trends. As real estate professionals we are starting to see things that are related to nature whether it be in color, wood inspired walls, large windows with a lot of natural lighting but with the overall thought that less is more.”



“Similar to what we just discussed, the article stated “today, workplaces commonly include natural lighting, live plants, exposed brick, and wood elements.” On a scale of 1-10, how common is this type of space becoming? Why?”


“On a scale of 1-10, I would say a 9 for how popular these types of spaces are because many companies are looking to do a build-out or remodel to meet trends like these. Like I said before it is the easiest way to recruit younger professionals that want to be in a fun working environment, these new trends allow them to work in a space that does not feel like work.”



“According to Jeff Miller, one of Apple’s lead interior designers, “lighter, powerful, wireless technology has untethered the workspace more than ever. Offices now mandate the inclusion of dedicated lounge areas to make working more enjoyable.” I know I have personally witnessed this first hand in college and throughout my internships but how have you seen this? Do you think this trend will continue on for years to come?”


“I personally haven’t seen it in person, but I have seen variations of this approach through many office spaces in Syracuse. Whether it is the tearing down of cubicles to have standing desks with no walls, to the large kitchen/dining areas that make it feel like a community mess hall, which I personally think are unique in their own way. More or less, I predominately see this approach taken by many tech companies where interaction and brainstorming are key in the development of success. I do think this trend will continue, but many different variations of it will branch out and each office will have similar features. On the other hand each space will also be unique and personal in a way that fits their company. In CRE, as salespeople, we will have to realize that each company is not the same and each is looking for a space that meets their company’s goals.”



“The article mentioned how co-working is now satisfying the needs of our generation because it can provide endless flexibility and fresh new adventures. It even said that shared offices are the new norm. How can CRE take advantage of co-working spaces?”


“The best way I feel CRE can take advantage of co-working space is to bring the idea  of co-working to potential clients including future tenants and landlords. It gives a salesperson a new way to show their client how a space can be maximized and brought to its’ fullest potential. Salespeople do not have to be limited in showing a building that is already home to office space but can show older factories and industrial buildings as potential office sites as well. Co-working spaces need an open floor plan, but also a floor plan that can accommodate a large number of people.”



“It was stated that the design of an office plays a role in the productivity, efficiency and happiness of employees. Out of the 3, which would you say people are looking for?”


“Out of the three I would say people (millennials) are looking for happiness. We all want to find the right job, with the right company. The environment has a lot to do with that, not only dealing with the natural environment and structure of the space but also the people around. The mixing of all generations is important; companies need the millennials just as much as they need the older generation. Each group should learn from one another, so when the older generation moves on and retires the millennials will be able to step in and coach the generation below them.”



“As an overall general question about current real estate trends, what kind of things are clients looking for when you take them on tours right now?”


“I haven’t had to deal with larger corporations (yet) where they would need this large of space. I’ve had the pleasure of working with smaller groups, ones who are looking for specific things, which dominates this market from what I have been dealing with. I would love to have a large corporation, or start-up company come to me looking for a space with large windows, an open floor plan with a lot of potential. Hopefully the day will come where someone will need that and I will be there to help them. Obviously, I am just starting out but it would be a great experience for me and I think it would be even better for the community to see the continued change here in Syracuse as current companies continue to grow and new ones join the area.”



“As a millennial that has only been in the workforce for a couple of years, how important are these office benefits to you?”


“I find these office benefits very important to myself. Many people look at work as work, but if there are ways to make it better for individuals, why not try it. I think that for millennials, especially, in terms of work it is no longer looked at as a 9-5 job like it has in the past. The benefits that amenities such as lounge areas, where you can talk to your colleagues discuss work and gather other’s opinions is going such a long way nowadays. Not only do individuals grow in settings like these but so does the company itself.”

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