Research shows modern offices need flexibility,interactivity, connectivity
New research from the City of London Corporation and City Property Association highlights the challenges and opportunities awaiting property developers as the technological revolution continues to weaken the traditional link between economic growth and office space demand.
Previously, the lack of mobile technologies kept workers chained to their desks for routine solitary work, but as work has been redefined as an activity rather than a place, the office has become somewhere to visit and interact with colleagues and clients. Able to remotely tackle routine tasks, the City’s young, highly mobile, and highly skilled workforce now requires an office environment that enables team-based working, space to meet clients and constant connectivity. Flexible, interactive spaces also help provide an environment which maximises productivity, critical to the success of businesses large and small.
The research, authored by Ramidus Consulting, shows that creating this modern office environment is crucial to supporting the City’s continued global success. More than 75% of the City’s office space has been built or refurbished since the mid-1980s – but this report highlights practical steps property managers and developers can take to ensure that the City’s office buildings and designs are fit for the future.
If organisations in the City hope to attract and retain top talent, they look for offices which can provide choice and flexibility for workers. Key aspects of this include:
- A choice of places to work, in as well as outside the office, facilitated by ubiquitous connectivity
- Opportunities for knowledge sharing, mentoring, collaborating and socialising
- Efficient and inexpensive travel options to and from their place of work
- Good local amenities including coffee shops, retail and restaurants
- Access to leisure facilities – bars, cinemas, gyms
The public realm, the spaces between the buildings, has also become increasingly important as workers have become more mobile, and expect their high quality, well serviced and supportive workplaces to be mirrored outside the building.
Speaking at the MIPIM property conference as the research was released, City of London Policy Chairman Mark Boleat said:
“As one of the world’s leading financial centres, the City of London is keen to provide its workers with workplaces as innovative as they are. The future attractiveness and competitiveness of the City depends on its ability to continue to evolve – as it always has – to support the future needs of both businesses and workers; this report helps to identify the steps that are needed.”
Robert Samuel, President of the City Property Association and Head of Office Development at British Land said:
“Successful businesses recognise the importance of the workplace and are driving change to the office environment, which in turn is shaping the demands on modern cities. The property industry has embraced this challenge and is working collaboratively to create the buildings and places that will enable the City to retain its global appeal.”
Notes to editors
Bella Longman, Media Officer, City of London Corporation
Tel: 020 7332 1906 / Mobile: 07809 334 327
Nick Dyson, Policy and Communications Officer, City Property Association
Tel : 020 7630 1782 / Mobile : 07841 921 108
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
About the City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles: (1) we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. (2) We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. (3) And we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach. See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.
About the City Property Association
The City Property Association is a membership body open to all companies working in and around the City of London’s real estate industry. With close to 200 members, we bring together property owners, developers, investors and professional advisors to inform policy and drive the economic prosperity of the City, and between our members we represent a substantial property portfolio. Our principal focus continues to be planning and economic development policy in the City and we maintain excellent working relationships with members and officers in the City of London Corporation, the Greater London Authority, media and key industry bodies. We also take an active interest across other various government departments as well as national and regional organisations that impact upon the built environment in Central London. Each year the Association delivers a range of insight seminars, building visits and seasonal receptions. These events bring together our membership to forge new business partnerships and are an opportunity to hear directly from senior policy makers and industry experts. Visit our website www.citypropertyassociation.com for more details on membership.
About Ramidus Consulting
Ramidus Consulting Limited is a specialist, independent, built environment research and advisory business. Our focus is on property markets: how they are changing; their relationship to the wider economy and their role in economic development. We work closely with property investors, developers, advisors and policy makers, providing insights into property market dynamics, economic and investment trends, and policy and planning matters. We undertake research on geographical markets and business sectors to help clients understand how they are changing. We help to explain the forces driving change and their prospective influences in the future built environment. We also specialise in understanding occupiers and their changing needs for property. See http://www.ramidus.co.uk for more information on Ramidus and a description of our experience.