Industrious Fashion District, Philadelphia, PA

Our Insights

The Intersection of Retail and Coworking

Bringing flexible workspaces closer to home

The demand for flexible coworking spaces is stretching beyond the necessity of adapting to the pandemic. Businesses are searching for a work-life balance, bringing workspace opportunities to where people live by exploring less traditional spaces.

Vice President Peter Dubin and Principal Pierina Benvenuto comment on how NORR is designing coworking spaces that are a natural fit in both urban and suburban malls, enclosed shopping centers and lifestyle properties, to create a synergistic solution that brings the workplace even closer to home.

Why are coworking spaces becoming omnipresent in malls and shopping centers? 

Peter Dubin

The pandemic has made us realize that employees can work from anywhere. There are opportunities for employees to work from home, close to home or in an office. The community shopping center has presented one opportunity to work closer to home. As we’ve witnessed a decrease in occupancy levels in brick and mortar retail across the globe, these empty spaces can be transformed for coworking, providing new revenue-producing square footage. This allows employees to work within their own community while helping to increase foot traffic for retail. Regional malls and shopping centers are becoming a “Live. Work. Play.” all-in-one experience, and NORR is creating synergistic solutions so that everybody wins.

How is NORR collaborating with clients to create unique workplace environments? 

Pierina Benvenuto

We work with our coworking clients by doing test-fits on the viability of sites. Collaboratively, we consider their brand and operational goals for each site. For coworking space design in malls and shopping centers, we use specific client-generated criteria to optimize the design. Coworking space in the retail environment is unique and there is a certain space planning utilization approach we take that is different compared to the typical office environment.

 What does the future hold for these spaces beyond the pandemic?  

Pierina Benvenuto

The long-term optimism of coworking spaces in retail environments, both in walkable urban centers and drivable suburban locations, is gaining momentum. The flexibility of these spaces is intriguing to people re-evaluating their priorities, and for companies seeking new workplace strategies to support their workforce.

Peter Dubin

Reimagining work-life balance will stretch well beyond the pandemic. NORR is offering solutions to fill retail environments that include innovative designs for shared workspaces. By creating workplaces where people live, we are strengthening communities and adapting to a shift in the way we work.