The research environment is progressing. Growing industry workforce, evolving demographics and the teetering economy are the key components of this move forward and will have significant impact on laboratory spaces, operations and work culture.
From 2001 to 2010 the U.S. bioscience industry grew by 6.4 percent as compared to total employment for all private sector industries in the U.S., which fell by 9.2 percent. The majority of jobs added were in research, testing and laboratories (Biotechnology Industry Organization, 2012). This statistic, plus the fact that there are more women, Millennial, mobile, and diverse workers than ever, strongly influences the design of research - laboratory and office - environments.
Furthermore, the down economy
has forced organizations to look at their space needs differently, resulting in thorough and detailed productivity metrics to ensure that space is used efficiently. When considering those metrics in conjunction with changing workforce demographics and the rise of collaborative work environments, organizations must consider new space models that will successfully foster interaction and innovation and also contribute to the bottom line.
SmithGroupJJR discussed these shifts in detail with its Science & Technology Advisory Board, which is comprised of scientists, organization directors, and facility managers representing leading research institutions nationwide. The resulting paper summarizes the topic and the trends for the future.