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“Dude, Where’s My Office?” Event Recap


By Leyla Sfeir, Energeia Solutions

 

“Dude Where’s My Office?” took place on July 11, 2016 at the iconic City Club building in San Francisco. The event was attended by more than 60 people.


Keynote speaker Nina J. Gruen, principal sociologist at Gruen Gruen + Associates was joined by panelists Lynn M. Sedway, principal and president of Sedway Consulting; Lisa Bottom, principal at Gensler; Lori Coleman, VP of management services at Madison Marquette; and Kena David, sustainability manager at BCCI Construction Company to discuss how changing demographics are affecting commercial real estate development in the Bay Area.

 

The needs of the millennial employee, such as the desire for green and open spaces that promote collaboration, are driving forces for companies to design work spaces that promote the use of common areas. To no surprise, technology has greatly shaped the way millennials conduct business, which has had a large impact on the retail sector. Trading physical stores for an online experience has left many prime retail spaces in the Bay Area open for lease.

 

The panelists also discussed how millennials’ shift to doing everything online has affected the way they socially interact and how they value those interactions. A lot of communication happens through email or text, when often it might be easier to pick up the phone or meet in person and have a conversation with the client. Eye contact, body language, and tone help enhance communication. These skills are being lost online.


Finally, the speakers briefly touched on the wage disparity between men and women, and attributed the cause, at least in part, to women being less vocal than men: they simply do not ask for raises as frequently as men do. Ms. Gruen emphasized that “Women need to speak up and ask for what they want.”

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