The increased demand for a range of flexible working options will mean landlords and operators needing new ways to attract tenants, according to the managing director of a service provider.
Julian Cooper of Clarendon was talking in response to research by IWG, a multinational provider of serviced offices, suggesting that in the longer-term, six in ten workers surveyed by the firm, will want an office that is closer to home. An even greater proportion say that a more conveniently located office is a 'must-have' for their next job move.
Cooper told Facilitate: "The latest IWG research is another wake-up call to business leaders that they need to consider their real estate portfolio if they want to attract and retain talent. Employee expectations have irrevocably shifted and as the research shows, many simply do not want to return to working full time from a central office."
However, added Cooper, the office is not dead – "and still has an essential role to play in the future of work".
"The future office will function as a community hub," continued Cooper; "a place for collaboration and a social centre – the elements of work that cannot be replicated in the home. The importance of office camaraderie cannot be understated and is certainly one of the main reasons people still do want to spend part of the working week in the office.
"I expect to see companies of all sizes reassessing their real estate portfolios to find the right balance of core and flex space. Many leaders will be understandably hesitant to make any big decisions during the pandemic, and one of the benefits of flexspace is the agility it offers in its lease. Companies can experiment with different flex spaces and locations to find what works best for them and their employees.
increased demand for such flexspace will mean landlords and operators needing to up their game to attract tenants.
"More than ever before, space is seen as a service and each business will have its own set of criteria," said Cooper.
"Operators need to be prepared to adapt their offerings or risk being left behind. This includes branching out to new locations, and adapting opening hours to accommodate different tenant working preferences."