Car parks the office hang-out of the future

car park

Only 16 per cent of workers expect they’ll be driving themselves to work in 2030, according to new research by real estate services firm JLL, opening the door to widespread adaptive reuse of basement car parking.

Based on 260 survey respondents collected at TEDxSydney, the company has created The Human Revolution report, looking at how society envisages the future of offices in 2030.

Currently 66 per cent of Australians get to work by car, though respondents predicted that big increases in ridesharing, public transport and autonomous vehicles (AVs) would cut back that statistic dramatically, with flow-on effects for car parking.

“That presents new challenges in how best to adapt these spaces, with possible solutions including urban farming, sleep pods, exercise studios or even into warehouse-style residential conversions,” the report said.

Twenty-nine per cent of those surveyed expected to be using AVs to get to work, 33 per cent said they’d use public transport, and 40 per cent anticipated to be walking or cycling.

The report said the figures affirmed that developers need to be building with a view to adaptive reuse.

“As people shift to autonomous vehicles and active transport modes, the demand for car parks will be lower but their low ceiling heights and lack of natural light make them impractical for conversion to office space. Owners and developers need to consider the adaptive reuse potential of car parks,” the report said.

The report said that tech companies were leading the charge when it came to workplace design, and that companies could incorporate simple design elements to improve worker wellbeing and productivity.