Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Space as a Service

Since the pandemic, much has been said about the office market being in flux. Some have shifted back to a physical space, others have opted for a hybrid model and some choose to remain 100% virtual. For us, it works best for us all to be together in a physical space. In a large part, this the nature of the services we provide. For others, maybe a mix of office and work-from-home time has become the goal. Having said this, I think that if the truth was known, most CEOs of major companies would like to all be working back at the office.

The virtual work model seems to lend itself to a trend I’ve read a bit about, “space as a service.” The idea is that instead of buying or renting space, you can reserve a spot only when you need it. We’ve dipped our toe into this model with a recent project we are building, which will accommodate many shared resources for tenants including conference and kitchen space. I can see a future in dedicated rental space targeted at professionals, particularly in the central business district. Have a day when you need a good stretch of quiet time to complete a proposal? Rent an office. Need to have a meeting with a new client? Rent a conference room. It will be interesting to see if the “use only what you need” model gets some legs.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.