Transcending Workspace

Transcending Workspace: A Conversation with Jarrod Arbini

March 02, 2022 Apex Facility Resources Season 1 Episode 3
Transcending Workspace
Transcending Workspace: A Conversation with Jarrod Arbini
Show Notes Transcript

Listen as Matt connects with Jarrod Arbini, a Senior Project Manager at Weaver Architects as they dive into the current state of the Seattle market. A Walla Walla native, Jarrod Arbini traded in his pursuit of an agribusiness degree and a stake in the family farm for an architecture degree from WSU and a move to Seattle. His first introduction to the profession was in retail design, which solidified his love of interior architecture and quickly expanded into hospitality and commercial office interior design.

00:00:04:09 - 00:00:05:03
Matt Watson
Okay. Here we go.

00:00:10:01 - 00:00:32:15
Matt Watson
Today's guest is a Walla Walla native. Jared Arbini traded in his pursuit for an agribusiness degree and a stake in the family farm for an architecture degree from WSU and a move to Seattle. His first introduction into the profession was in retail design, which solidified his love of interior architecture and quickly expanded into hospitality and commercial office interior design.

00:00:33:05 - 00:00:57:19
Matt Watson
A registered architect with over 26 years of experience, Jared leads the Commercial Interiors team, interior studio team here at Weaver Architects in Seattle, where he brings his unique perspective to architecture and interior design to every project when not quietly sketching behind a role of trace with a SAT marker, he can be found making lots of noise with the drum kit in the Seattle band Jupejupe.

00:00:58:01 - 00:00:59:02
Matt Watson
Jarrod, welcome.

00:00:59:21 - 00:01:01:01
Jarrod Arbini
Hey, thanks for having me.


00:01:02:16 - 00:01:36:08
Matt Watson
Well, you and I, we've worked on and off together for I don't know, 15 years probably. And so I'm super excited to have you on the phone. What I think is really interesting about what you do here in Seattle is you seem to be in the middle of our tech community in a big way. And you are lucky enough to work with a ton of I guess not just startups, but those in late fund rounds that are making that next step to major office space and taking down floors at a time.

00:01:36:08 - 00:01:41:04
Matt Watson
So tell us a little bit about your company and kind of what you're seeing in the market.

00:01:41:18 - 00:02:16:00
Jarrod Arbini
Sure. Well, we're we're a full service architecture integrated firm that's used in the majority of our work is commercial interiors. And a large client base is the tech community as well as professional services firms, attorneys, financial services, whatnot, with a few art projects thrown in here and there, which keeps things pretty interesting. But yeah, we're seeing a pretty big mix across the board in terms of how folks are navigating the current state of affairs with COVID and whatnot.

00:02:17:03 - 00:02:40:22
Jarrod Arbini
You know, we have some tech groups that are continuing to build out and have been for the last couple of years building out space and still have yet to occupy it. But they're bracing themselves for getting back to a normal work scenario pre-pandemic. And then there's others that are looking at a complete About-Face there. They're trying to navigate what is next.

00:02:40:22 - 00:02:51:12
Jarrod Arbini
And that's, I think, the biggest challenge because it changes the changes. It changes daily. It's it's something that's completely evolving on a constant level.


00:02:52:02 - 00:02:54:20
Matt Watson
Which is, I think, fun in some ways and stressful in others.

00:02:55:14 - 00:03:12:01
Jarrod Arbini
It is. It is it's exciting because the opportunities are great. The challenge is is really focusing in because things are changing. I mean, it's it's just every time you think you've got something it just doesn't want it.

00:03:14:06 - 00:03:34:17
Matt Watson
So I think that more uncertainty is really the the biggest thing that I mean, even from both of us really have great brokerage community relationships in our community. And we a lot of our business stems out of our relationships in the brokerage. To me, I know those guys are really working hard and I think that a lot of the work is not going anywhere.

00:03:34:17 - 00:03:36:07
Matt Watson
And so a lot of hacking of the can.

00:03:36:12 - 00:04:05:09
Jarrod Arbini
Yeah, I know there's a lot of that. There's there's a lot of hurry up and wait. Yeah. I kind of equate it to running and saying just it feels like we're we're busier than ever, that we're we're, we're two steps forward, one step back. And it's it is it is hard. And I can only imagine what the brokerage side is facing with client uncertainty and some vacant space on the market.

00:04:05:15 - 00:04:10:04
Jarrod Arbini
A lot of opportunities out there. But nobody quite wants to hear that yet.

00:04:13:14 - 00:04:24:00
Matt Watson
So that's yeah, I found it interesting about two weeks ago, I started getting calls from the brokers that I work with and have worked with for over 20 years. And that's the first time I think I've ever remember them calling me.
Right. Yeah, it was a lot. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. What's going on? Yeah. So, you know, with all that you read in the paper and on both, that's like my dad and six. Yeah.

00:04:38:02 - 00:04:41:00
Matt Watson
I've read online is about how.

00:04:41:00 - 00:04:52:07
Matt Watson
The work space is going to be a hybrid strategy. Have you found that there are significant changes in your approach or workspace planning for clients today?

00:04:52:20 - 00:05:21:06
Jarrod Arbini
Yes or no? What we're finding now, which kind of comes back to that again and that we are planning the Office of the Future, that the new the new hybrid office where it's this kind of be all end all space that gets everybody back and excited and coming in to collaborate, but knowing that they're still going to work remotely, but then on the flip side is like, hey, can you plan that same space, assuming we're all back to normal?

00:05:22:03 - 00:05:48:03
Jarrod Arbini
So we're at we're doing multiple plans for four folks where it is it is a hybrid. Will it work remote with just meeting space to a flex hybrid scenario where maybe you're in the office two to three days a week to a full on everybody back. So there's there's a lot of we're trying to cover a lot of territory and that's what's getting challenging because we're we're now we're trying to find it.

00:05:48:04 - 00:05:54:15
Jarrod Arbini
We're trying to do that in space because across the board, most folks are making reductions.

00:05:54:20 - 00:06:22:01
Matt Watson
Yeah. So they're commercial real estate, obviously, you know, the pandemic. Is that a huge impact on commercial real estate strategy? That's part of our dialog that I think what we have found is in the last, say, ten years, there has been a huge with our services teams doing commissions and downsizing and right sizing of facilities into basically 60 inch test stand table pedestal and a chair.

00:06:22:11 - 00:06:45:16
Matt Watson
So the diversity the changes to the interiors of offices have been significant and condensed and density has gone up. I haven't yet seen a tremendous change in density among our clients. I think they're holding tight trying to figure out like I say, the uncertainty is huge and utilization is the biggest question how are people going to utilize the assets?

00:06:45:16 - 00:07:07:10
Matt Watson
Because I think many of the people you and I worked for are scared. I want to use that word scared to losing people if they impose any kind of mandates on being in the office. Right. But I also see them wanting to have flexibility enough to house everybody if they choose to show up or. Yeah, three days a week with no to in on Fridays, you know?

00:07:07:20 - 00:07:29:24
Jarrod Arbini
Right. Right. And I think what I would I've noticed are some clients are definitely approaching it that way where they're kind of making some decisions for the company as far as coming back. And then there is there's other groups that are really engaging their employees and saying, okay, listen, let's let's really talk about a new landscape, a new work from home strategy.

00:07:30:07 - 00:07:55:22
Jarrod Arbini
But what does that mean? I mean, if you're really going to be working from home three plus days a week when you come in, don't expect to have a dedicated desk. I don't expect to have a dedicated work. What do you need to be flexible? You need to be able to kind of roll with the punches to a certain extent, where I think that the challenge is those folks that I want to be completely hybrid and I want to work from home.

00:07:55:22 - 00:08:12:08
Jarrod Arbini
But if I do come in, I want a dedicated works like, well, you know, I don't know that that's truly going to be the case. And that's where we're getting into a challenge. So you just don't have the real estate to accommodate that, right? So so everybody's got to be open to a certain amount of change and flexibility.

00:08:12:08 - 00:08:35:03
Jarrod Arbini
And I think those are the conversation that needs to be have to wait and management and employees about what does that look like? Because right now, I think if people are speculating and then try to design a space that covers all of those scenarios, which that's kind of a recipe for disaster, fortunately, we're the ones that will be left holding the bag because when you've created this space.

00:08:35:16 - 00:08:38:20
Matt Watson
They're like, okay, make it happen. Well, that's just it.

00:08:38:21 - 00:08:53:09
Jarrod Arbini
Yeah, we get that call going, Hey, we really want you to come up with something really crazy that solves our problem. Hey, that's what we did. We're we're we're problem solvers. But it really takes a village to kind of come up with a solution that works. We're a magician, so. Yeah.

00:08:53:20 - 00:09:14:23
Matt Watson
Yeah. I was lucky enough to be invited to sit on a speaking panel with LA Fed Banker who had a large event here last just this last month, which they have every year. And it was about the future of the office. And most of the people in the audience were CEOs and management level people. And what I shared with them.

00:09:14:23 - 00:09:59:02
Matt Watson
And then we I was on the panel with to the locally know local developers and building managers and owners who were basically both, I think, somewhat struggling to maintain the optimism of well before we reoccupied some time soon. And I was like, well, here's here's the challenge. We we can go into this says, oh, my gosh, I don't know what to do, or we can go in this by engaging and I think we just opportunity for management and leadership is the game to engage non leadership in what I called many experiments take part of your office and create a solution that you think might be a way to go forward and engage your people to come

00:09:59:02 - 00:10:24:20
Matt Watson
in and work through that solution and give you that, give the feedback that's necessary to make good strategic real estate decisions going forward. It's an excellent opportunity where I think statistically people say they've done a lot of surveying on engagement. In 67% of the time, leadership are making decisions around commercial real estate strategy in offices without input. And you.

00:10:24:23 - 00:10:32:01
Matt Watson
Exactly. And I know you and I have sat in meetings struggling where I is my age. I'll put you.

00:10:32:01 - 00:10:32:07
Jarrod Arbini
There.

00:10:33:01 - 00:10:33:03
Matt Watson
Are.

00:10:33:21 - 00:10:34:11
Matt Watson
Yeah I think.

00:10:34:11 - 00:10:42:17
Matt Watson
That I'm close to 60 make a decision for 25 year old the 35 year old people who have a different appetite for the workspace.

00:10:42:23 - 00:11:02:05
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah I have there's been a few times where I've started to look at there's there's this blanket statement like we're going to we're going to move forward and you know people are going to come back and 20 minutes later I'm meeting with an employee that is like, well, if I'm coming out I'm yeah, I'm out. I'm not.

00:11:02:05 - 00:11:19:19
Jarrod Arbini
I got, I'm gone. So it's like, yeah, it's like, you know, folks need to talk and there needs to be, there needs to be a certain level of communication and the ones that are successful are the ones that are having those dialog. And they're, they're really coming to the table with, with an open mind and understanding that nobody has the answers.

00:11:20:01 - 00:11:31:21
Jarrod Arbini
Yeah. We're, we're all trying to figure it out. And I think that's our message is that we plan is really flexibility. I mean, that's really the only constant right now that we know is that space needs to be flexible because things are changing.

00:11:32:03 - 00:11:48:11
Matt Watson
Yeah. And we've, we've, I think both some that tuned for many years right now more than ever, it's amplified to the point where people are actually going, oh yeah, I get it know listening now where they say no, I just always have, you know, that work before. Let's do that now.

00:11:49:15 - 00:11:50:19
Speaker 1
So let's talk about a.

00:11:50:19 - 00:12:25:02
Matt Watson
Little bit about the building owners in town because, you know, we have some large developers and building owners who I'm sure have really been up at night struggling, trying to figure out what it what it means to them to provide the shell, the core and also the amenities going forward. Have you seen a lot of I know you've seen over the years, a lot of the building owners are finding really cool meeting spaces and collaboration zones and social areas where you can leverage space planning to use.

00:12:25:02 - 00:12:33:00
Matt Watson
In addition to planning, you do interiors for your tenants, but the teams that occupy the. So how do you see building owners changing? Have you seen much from them.

00:12:34:09 - 00:12:45:19
Jarrod Arbini
Other than maybe a refresh are really trying to rebrand a little bit of that. There is a new book, so it's people coming back. They're excited to walk in the door. They're going to do.

00:12:46:10 - 00:12:47:03
Matt Watson
Feel.

00:12:47:03 - 00:13:10:10
Jarrod Arbini
A new feel, but for amenity space, you know, there there were definitely some properties that I embraced that really well, provided a lot of amenity space. And we tried to leverage that with with clients. You know, let's not build out all these conference rooms because you've got a lot of this stuff that's available for you or wellness rooms, those kind of things.

00:13:10:19 - 00:13:20:12
Jarrod Arbini
And for the most part, I would say that, you know, they were open to it, but when it came down to it, the thought of what we had to schedule it and you know, we have these meetings.

00:13:20:17 - 00:13:20:24
Matt Watson
They don't.

00:13:21:03 - 00:13:46:24
Jarrod Arbini
Randomly and they just. Yeah, and, and that that was all was a challenge very very rarely were we able to reduce attendance rates because of the amenity space as a perk up. I think if anything, it's probably maybe a little bit harder now with still potentially some social distancing and people feeling comfortable coming back and interacting. I mean, I think that's that's that's the challenge.

00:13:48:00 - 00:14:11:10
Matt Watson
I think I think it's been a quick turn to I think that the co-working environment suffered early on with a huge amount of well, I don't know these people. They just work randomly in the space, which is their big advantage to collaborating with people you don't know are from different industries. But right now, it's I think that tide is turned a little bit where I think there's a little more safety with vaccinations and that sort of thing.

00:14:11:10 - 00:14:30:20
Matt Watson
And and, you know, cleaning, you know, a little more understanding of what was going on with the pandemic and now I think that co-working environments can be really at the core of the leveraging and or those amenity areas will be at the core of leveraging workspace in the new and different way. And I, I don't think we've quite seen it yet on our side.

00:14:30:20 - 00:14:33:21
Matt Watson
I don't know if you start seeing that change. Yeah.

00:14:34:06 - 00:14:35:12
Jarrod Arbini
No, no, not yet.

00:14:36:03 - 00:14:54:03
Matt Watson
Yeah. I think that that you to your point is I've always felt the same way about amenity spaces and people saying, oh, the newer buildings, we have to have all this cool, you know, for the Millennials and Gen Z, they have to really have these really cool spaces where they can tuck up and have fun and lay back and do their thing.

00:14:54:03 - 00:14:57:00
Matt Watson
And I'm like, well, I've never really seen body use.

00:14:57:00 - 00:14:58:14
Jarrod Arbini
And that's just it. Yeah.

00:14:59:20 - 00:15:03:17
Speaker 1
Yeah. Yeah. And that's a tough one. Yeah. There's a perception of my.

00:15:03:24 - 00:15:10:10
Matt Watson
I think the perception of office spaces, although it's being impacted now, it really hasn't mindset wise. Change.

00:15:10:22 - 00:15:14:00
Jarrod Arbini
It really hasn't. Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah.

00:15:14:24 - 00:15:35:16
Matt Watson
And I also say that I know there are people on, on the, it depends on where your company is at in a lot of ways and in terms of how you're going to develop and design office space going into in my opinion, I work with a lot of tech companies who really they their foundation is on innovation and creativity.

00:15:35:16 - 00:15:57:01
Matt Watson
And in those cases, you really need to have people together to innovate and to create together. You do. One of my clients is we create our inspiration is creating new technology with those that we love and they love. You know, that's their, you know, kind of one of their DNA aspects to having people in the workspace and how vital it is.

00:15:57:01 - 00:16:06:16
Matt Watson
And I think it's an interesting way to put it, but I don't see them taking advantage of space outside of the what's leased. You know.

00:16:07:16 - 00:16:38:07
Jarrod Arbini
I don't although I have seen a little bit of a kind of a hybrid approach where we've got some tech folks that are leveraging space and they're creating they're creating their own little mini kind of a work studio that maybe somewhere between somewhere between home and work. And so they can still maybe do a little meetings on a little bit more of a micro scale.

00:16:38:16 - 00:17:07:17
Jarrod Arbini
And it's their own. They could manage it and they're outfitting it as more of a work lounge, work arounds, exactly where they can they can they can have some of their immediate team on board there versus in the office and not somebody to help. So yeah, that's that's also something that we're we're seeing a little bit more of, which is in its interest because I think it does open up possibilities.

00:17:07:23 - 00:17:39:12
Matt Watson
Yeah. I think that's the most interesting. I mean, we're literally in the center of the universe of cloud computing here with Amazon and Microsoft and now Google and Mazda and Apple and the amount of technology pursued and basically they're pursuing the talent here in Seattle, which is, you know, an off the hook talent wise for all the leading technologies and artificial intelligence and all the other cutting edge technology going on.

00:17:39:12 - 00:18:12:06
Matt Watson
And I think that what I find interesting is, you know, workspaces gone is still so far behind in terms of its mindset to accommodate people who are really creating the latest in technology that I I'm really accept. That's one thing that kind of excites me after 40 years in this business, moving and installing companies and designing workspace and so forth, it really is a great opportunity to look at, hey, you know, thinking differently about our strategy.

00:18:12:14 - 00:18:34:08
Matt Watson
And I think that the other part of it is most of the eclectic mix of people generationally will have such a diverse as they always have impact on the decision making that you can't get anybody really happy and excited about. One thing you have to do so much compromising. It's like politics, right?

00:18:34:09 - 00:18:36:00
Speaker 1
Exactly, exactly.

00:18:36:02 - 00:18:41:20
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly. Yes. Yeah. You're trying to please everybody. Nobody's out. Yeah. Now that that's so true. Very true.

00:18:42:01 - 00:19:02:09
Matt Watson
Yeah. So commercial real estate strategy really is at the core of this. And I I'm I'm curious to see if you see anybody going to the hub and spoke meeting where, you know, like this whole notion of an apartment. I'd also seen the opportunity for hospitality to do the same thing where they could take they can literally shift rooms into work lounge or office offices.

00:19:03:02 - 00:19:25:17
Matt Watson
And they have the infrastructure for technology already, you know, the white buy and the access to the interwebs and so forth is already and phone systems are already set up. And most of my clients don't even have a phone system. They work off their cell phone. So it doesn't really matter. Right. Right. Where they can literally do daily rental, monthly rental and have more flexibility.

00:19:25:17 - 00:19:38:03
Matt Watson
The small companies with all the amenities they want down downstairs where there are restaurants and services and people who can come in and clean every day. I, I was up at the hotels and hospitality. They're missing the boat.

00:19:38:03 - 00:19:38:24
Matt Watson
Here right.

00:19:39:05 - 00:20:00:22
Jarrod Arbini
Right. I, you know, that's interesting because there was a little bit of that going on, even pre-pandemic we were we're seeing a little bit of that. And I was actually looking to sign up with a group where there was a spot I could drop in and it was a monthly fee. You know, it was on monitor, but there could be an app kind of like limelight or whatever, you know, where you don't access into the space.

00:20:01:10 - 00:20:02:07
Matt Watson
Super flexible.

00:20:02:07 - 00:20:31:20
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly. And use it as need be. And that's that's how I work a lot of different spots around different meetings. I can just find a spot where I've got a little bit of life right now and that one's going to work out really well. And, you know, it and unfortunately, those are starting to close up shop. And I haven't seen too many of those, but I do I do hear a little bit more talking about that methodology, but I haven't I haven't really seen it take hold.

00:20:32:09 - 00:20:49:19
Matt Watson
Yeah. I think that it's going to it's going to happen as our entrepreneurs and founders that younger and younger and younger, they're really like, I don't have to do my dad did. Right. And by the way, my dad worked for Boeing and he sat in the open environment at one 72 by 36.

00:20:51:03 - 00:20:54:11
Matt Watson
With rolling rows of cubicles configured.

00:20:54:16 - 00:20:57:20
Matt Watson
Working on a bomber, you know.

00:20:57:20 - 00:20:58:17
Matt Watson
Yeah. Oh yeah.

00:20:58:21 - 00:21:04:10
Matt Watson
That would and and the funny part about that is he would get up. He wouldn't even know whose birthday it was. He would just get in line.

00:21:04:10 - 00:21:13:03
Matt Watson
For the cake. That's so talk about opening. Yeah. Kind of figured out in the 1960s.

00:21:13:03 - 00:21:13:19
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly.

00:21:13:19 - 00:21:14:04
Speaker 1
Oh yeah.

00:21:14:04 - 00:21:18:20
Matt Watson
It somehow comes back around in a way that's so funny.

00:21:18:20 - 00:21:21:04
Jarrod Arbini
Just that, you know. Yeah. Oh yeah.

00:21:21:04 - 00:21:30:07
Matt Watson
Shake my head every time I look at pictures of that old steel desk and some people use they're there. So now they're sort after as collector's item.

00:21:30:07 - 00:21:49:07
Jarrod Arbini
Oh they are, they are. You imagine and just the, the, the collaboration and the just the, the creativity and something like that where. Yeah I say where you see drafting studio that is just rows and rows of books just dried and then just put a computer.

00:21:49:14 - 00:21:50:22
Speaker 1
Yeah. Slide rule.

00:21:51:02 - 00:21:51:16
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly.

00:21:51:16 - 00:21:54:13
Matt Watson
Designing systems. Exactly. And go to the moon. I mean.

00:21:54:13 - 00:21:55:15
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly. Oh my.

00:21:55:15 - 00:21:56:04
Matt Watson
God.

00:21:56:06 - 00:21:59:17
Jarrod Arbini
Yeah, yeah. Now to be a fly on the wall at that time.

00:22:01:01 - 00:22:01:13
Matt Watson
Well, so.

00:22:01:13 - 00:22:23:07
Matt Watson
We've tapped on and touched on it, but culturally, you know, and how they're approaching flexible workspace, you know, have you had the, are you engaged in the dialog of folks trying to figure out how to sustain a culture in this new hybrid scenario that we're facing going forward where people make them in part of the time or.

00:22:23:17 - 00:22:47:00
Jarrod Arbini
Yes or no. And with with some clients, we are engaging on a regular basis. But a lot of that is by way of questionnaires and starters and having them meet. And again, they're trying to have these meetings remote or virtually, so that we're trying to get folks to weigh in. And again, it's, you know, it's really kind of weeding through.

00:22:47:00 - 00:23:22:14
Jarrod Arbini
Everybody is, well, why am I going to come here and are I am I am I'm used to having an office and go into more of an open scenario. It's something that I'm not crazy about. And, you know, those are all discussions that that are that are continuing to evolve. And we get dialog that we're kind of reading through that what we find is we need to start putting together more plans and graphics because I think that's one thing is we're finding it is people aren't having the visual capabilities to understand what it is we're saying.

00:23:23:12 - 00:23:46:06
Jarrod Arbini
So until we can start to demonstrate that. So it's really a lot of different plan options. And then people start, they get it and they start to warm up to it and they get a little excited. But it's always those first meetings and conversations are absolutely not this is this is not going to work for me. If you make me come back to an open scenario or, or any sort of flexible workspace, I just stay home or other somewhere else.

00:23:46:17 - 00:24:14:19
Matt Watson
Thank you. Call me crazy. I know we we really haven't talked much about it, but I know that the door is now cracking open to air VR. And virtual reality is kind of interesting. I've got a buddy who's in that world that works with media and a couple of other companies, and they design meeting spaces where you literally can come in and walk around, float around and scramble and have one on one conversations and crazy stuff like that.

00:24:15:17 - 00:24:35:15
Matt Watson
Has that world entered? The VR would also be another way to demonstrate workspace. Augmented reality has been really popular among a lot of my manufacturers, where you can literally pull a piece of their furniture off their website or off their app on their phone and look at it, look at it in the room through your phone. It's just sitting in your room.

00:24:35:15 - 00:25:02:15
Jarrod Arbini
It's, Oh, I know, it's great. We've done a little bit of it. I think more than anything, it's maybe 3D imagery to evoke a feeling and a style and get some dialog going. The VR, I love it. I mean, I would love to do more of it. I think the biggest part is the investment of just the time and finding a client that's willing to to spend that money to really dove in and go that route.

00:25:03:14 - 00:25:24:19
Jarrod Arbini
That's the that's the harder challenge, which I think as we're trying to look at more unique ways of design and different ideas, there's obviously a cost associated with that. And that's the biggest thing is folks are not really willing to invest in it yet because it's like they're investing in a little bit of the unknown, if I get it.

00:25:25:01 - 00:25:42:19
Matt Watson
But yeah, I think the greatest risk is doing something that's completely counterintuitive, where human beings really are taking a lot of where, you know, let's say 70% of our communications. Your body language, right? Yeah. All right. It's hard to get that mechanism and it's hard to get that through VR.

00:25:42:19 - 00:25:43:21
Jarrod Arbini
So it is.

00:25:44:19 - 00:25:48:09
Matt Watson
Yeah. Unless the avatars really come into play, which I don't know how that's.

00:25:48:09 - 00:25:51:02
Matt Watson
Going to work. I guess I what my avatar.

00:25:51:02 - 00:25:53:00
Matt Watson
We have my agent in great shape.

00:25:53:06 - 00:25:57:11
Matt Watson
So my hair. Yeah.

00:25:59:09 - 00:26:20:19
Matt Watson
Yeah. What do you think it just is kind of a wrap of the biggest I know you've talked a lot of about the challenges and about the visualization. And I know we've talked a lot about how it's really difficult to predict utilization and cultural connection and knowledge transfer to to me are the two biggest things that are going to push us into the office.

00:26:20:19 - 00:26:30:17
Matt Watson
What do you think? There's other challenges and concerns designing space going forward. I know yours was you've already mentioned visualization and helping people really see and understand.

00:26:30:17 - 00:27:03:24
Jarrod Arbini
But yeah, I think that's I think that's one of them. I think it's it's also just some of the other challenges that are circling around. You know, we're coming back into the office. Safety. Security. Yeah. All those those discussions. Okay, I'm in the office. I'm in I'm in a great location in the building of what other amenities are around me that's going to get me out of the office to go have lunch or go grab a coffee or, you know, use my, my lunch hour to do some shopping at retail.

00:27:04:11 - 00:27:29:12
Jarrod Arbini
You know, you walk outside as, okay, now go. But so you go back in the office and, you know, for me, spending it, even though traffic is really light, there's still a commute there. There's gas prices are not cheap. Parking is not cheap. So there's it's it's one of those things where, you know, if you build it, they come at the same time.

00:27:29:12 - 00:27:36:05
Jarrod Arbini
You know, if they don't, why you're building it. So it's it's one of those things. Yeah. Well, it's.

00:27:36:05 - 00:28:00:15
Matt Watson
Kind of into exactly you know, that's what the two builders and developers on the panel were talking about is this whole thing has impacted retail and hospitality like none other. And literally people I know of one, you know, restaurateur in town who have four restaurants shut them all down and moved out of town. So don't let go. 400 people.

00:28:00:21 - 00:28:01:03
Jarrod Arbini
Right.

00:28:01:03 - 00:28:23:12
Matt Watson
And three and 50 people. So right now, they're they're lies. Therein lies an opportunity for the next restaurant to who wants to be the next great name. And we have a lot of great restaurants and restaurateurs and our chefs in our town. We're very much in we're no, we're like a mini San Francisco where you go down any book and cranny of the town and find an amazing bistro, you know, there.

00:28:23:12 - 00:28:41:23
Matt Watson
And so I am with New York and other heavy urban areas. But you're right, it's it's how that's probably the biggest question is how it's all going to get click clicked back on and it's going to get space. You got to have a lot of revenue. You got to have revenue to sustain your restaurant and pay your employees I'm sure.

00:28:42:06 - 00:28:43:08
Matt Watson
You know sure.

00:28:44:03 - 00:29:08:03
Matt Watson
And if the people aren't coming into work right now they say we're at 20 or 30% downtown Seattle at this time. So you know but what's also interesting I found that in talking with people outside of our community and like the East Coast in Manhattan, there are well over 40 or 50% of their utilization now. But I think that has a lot to do with housing.

00:29:08:07 - 00:29:11:22
Matt Watson
So if I have a two bedroom apartment, a dog and two kids.

00:29:11:22 - 00:29:12:13
Jarrod Arbini
Exactly.

00:29:12:13 - 00:29:15:11
Matt Watson
And no place to work, I guess I'm going to be going back into work.

00:29:16:01 - 00:29:16:08
Matt Watson
Right.

00:29:16:13 - 00:29:36:21
Matt Watson
Quick to get something done and get away from the craziness that right where in Seattle we seem to have a kind of a more I won't call it luxurious but we have more access to larger homes and get more room to work. My wife and I have both both have offices on the other side of the house so we don't bother each other.

00:29:36:21 - 00:29:57:12
Matt Watson
And it's worked out great. And I've been doing it for four, four years now. I moved out of town and have been working remotely like this before. So yeah, I, I, and the biggest thing that we've suffered through as an organization is knowledge transfer. We tried to hire new people and get them on during the downturn, and it's really they just gone nowhere.

00:29:57:12 - 00:29:59:21
Matt Watson
They really learn by doing business so.

00:29:59:24 - 00:30:30:09
Jarrod Arbini
That, yeah, we're seeing the same thing. Yes, it's challenging because it's very challenging and being able to there is so much that young designers can pick up just by being in the room and being a part of those meetings and working through design problems. And what we're finding is it is challenging because you're trying to mentor remotely and folks are working on their own unassisted and they're going so far and then you're having to pull them back and it's like, Okay, well, that wasn't quite right.

00:30:30:09 - 00:30:35:23
Jarrod Arbini
And then they get discouraged and it's, yeah, so it's is it is, it is a challenge. Challenge.

00:30:36:21 - 00:30:54:15
Matt Watson
And I think that that's I think the big key is those who can afford and have kind of come from furthering their careers and can work from home and sustain their account relationships will probably continue. You want to do that? Those, those same people are the people they need in the office to work side by side with the people who are on board.

00:30:54:16 - 00:30:56:02
Matt Watson
They are out in this industry.

00:30:56:08 - 00:31:11:11
Jarrod Arbini
They are in the outdoors. And we're especially in the design profession. We're seeing a lot of designers who have left and those with with a lot of experience and talent are going out and either doing contracts where they get to pick and choose.

00:31:12:07 - 00:31:13:03
Matt Watson
I've noticed that.

00:31:14:02 - 00:31:14:24
Jarrod Arbini
There's been a lot of that.

00:31:15:08 - 00:31:17:19
Matt Watson
A lot of that in our career. Very interesting.

00:31:17:24 - 00:31:19:03
Jarrod Arbini
Yes. Yes.

00:31:19:16 - 00:31:20:18
Matt Watson
Well, I know it.

00:31:20:18 - 00:31:26:00
Matt Watson
We're up against the clock and I really appreciate the time you share today. It's great to see your face. I know. We always have.

00:31:26:01 - 00:31:27:22
Jarrod Arbini
Likewise. Yeah.

00:31:28:02 - 00:31:32:12
Matt Watson
Down in chat. I know this is great. So hopefully people all my entertainment to have listeners.

00:31:32:12 - 00:31:34:05
Speaker 1
Have to get something out of it.

00:31:36:07 - 00:31:39:11
Matt Watson
I did retire. Yeah, well, thanks, Jarrod. Ah.

00:31:39:19 - 00:31:40:07
Jarrod Arbini
Thank you.

00:31:40:16 - 00:31:44:07
Matt Watson
And great luck to you going forward and I appreciate everything that you do.

00:31:44:16 - 00:31:45:07
Jarrod Arbini
Great. Thank you.