The future of office space is changing. According to the presentation made to Birmingham’s Investment Property Forum on 19th January 2017, by “Squaredot”, our working lives are changing and with it the demands of occupier and the use of office space.
The move to open plan working took off over 10 years ago, allowing occupiers to make maximum use of space and colleagues to talk. Today occupiers want collaborative spaces to talk and sometimes separate spaces to work. They may want to work at different spaces, either within an office base, “hotdesking”, in a coffee shop or at home.
Some occupiers experience occupancy levels fluctuating from 100% on Monday to as low as 15% on Fridays!
The best office space should allow this fluidity as well as offering an attractive place to come and work.
Not all occupiers have the same requirements, of course, some occupations will thrive on the buzz created by a group, other require time to think, many require both. This will be the challenge for a multi-let building, but that is surely not new.
The message appears to be that the change in our working lives is set to continue and landlords will need to be light on their feet and above all will need to have continuing dialogue with occupiers. They need to know what the most forward-looking occupiers are doing so that they are prepared.
In London, as elsewhere landlords are increasingly looking to smaller “start-up” occupiers to take the place of more traditional tenants. The “start-ups” don’t recognise the traditional lease model but want desk space perhaps on a monthly basis. This represents a fresh challenge for landlords not only in the space that is offered but in the legal obligations that govern the relationship.