23 November 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The office lease might not die, but it will be irrevocably changed by far-reaching social, economic and political trends, according to a study by built environment communications firm Magenta Associates.
Magenta's report states that "increasing volatility is spurring businesses to adopt flexible approaches that allow them to stay responsive and manage uncertainty" and that "new technologies have freed people from their desks".
It also says that mass urbanisation is creating "greater demand for office space as well as a new type of worker that expects it to be flexible and exciting in nature".
There is concern that "conventional commercial leases and the workplaces that often accompany them are not equipped to meet the myriad of challenges and threats", adds the study.
However, while there is clear evidence of a growing market for shorter leases and more flexible working arrangements, it is "impossible to ignore the huge potential for workplaces to make a genuine difference to employee effectiveness, company culture and the wider strategic business goals".
The traditional office lease will be under threat from more flexible alternatives until there is a wholesale shift in how workplaces are viewed - from cost centres to enablers.
The report concludes that "businesses must determine what it is they need from their workplaces and whether their current property strategy is meeting those objectives".
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