Technology is making an undeniable mark on the commercial real estate industry.

The commercial real estate industry, like much of the business world, has been slow to change its workplace dynamic. Despite large cultural shifts that have changed the way that companies hire and retain talent, most of the corporate business environment remains a cubicle-laden building geared for efficiency. Work environments have a proven impact on both our mental state as well as the quality of our work and overall happiness. So perhaps we should stop thinking about the office and more about the workplace as an experience. Don’t get left behind! Here are the top trends currently impacting the commercial real estate industry:

1. Leadership roles are evolving for those in the commercial real estate industry.

Happy shareholders mean happy employees. Better and more refined workplace experiences are changing not just how people work. They are also leading to new leadership roles that combine the areas of design, technology, amenities, and services to help managers move up the corporate ladder. Your top real estate executive, for example, might soon become the Chief Workplace Conductor, synthesizing workplace environments and experiences that maximize employee productivity and increase engagement.

2. Creative workplace design has made a dramatic impact.

The design of a workplace communicates who that company is to every job candidate, employee, customer, vendor, and business partner who walks through the door. The largest tech companies Apple and Google have become masters of using workplace design to increase employee happiness and retention, not to mention business growth and productivity. For those of us in the commercial real estate industry, creative workplace design can help all our companies to grow even if we only have a few employees.

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3. The commercial real estate industry is being redefined by amenities.

Amenities are those extra innovations that add to the overall workplace experience. These days working in the commercial real estate industry means being open to workplaces that utilize the latest technology and innovations. There is a clear demand for workplaces that increase employee happiness with amenities such as lunchtime yoga classes and more open seating plans.

4. The commercial real estate industry has shifted from manufacturing to innovation.

Over the years, you’ve likely seen many manufacturing plants close their doors. As commercial real estate industry trends have changed, workplace innovation has become more important. In years past, offices were created with efficiency in mind, not on the overall happiness of the employees. The workplace was a sterile environment designed to organize desks and office equipment in a way that employees would complete the most work as efficiently as possible. Now, business leaders are realizing that the workplace can help attract and inspire staff. Additionally, businesses can encourage long-term job retention by creating a workplace that encourages collaboration and sparks creativity.

5. The dawn of empathetic commercial buildings might emerge in the future.

Technological advancements have made the utilization of tech and smart devices commonplace. You’ve probably heard that in the future, many buildings including commercial real estate industry buildings will be smart buildings. Which means that these structures will be completed with new and innovative ways to make life easier for all of us. But buildings that anticipate and respond in ways that make jobs more efficient is a welcome innovation. Imagine walking into your workplace and the building would know what type of chair you would most like to sit on, what applications you need to open when you first start up your computer, and how bright you want the lights by your work area. Empathetic buildings might sound farfetched now but may soon become reality.

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Do you work in the commercial real estate industry? What are the top workplace trends that are you are watching or believe have the most potential to help your business? Please post your thoughts by commenting below.