The traditional office isn’t dead – it’s just evolved!
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Last week marked the first in a series of Newmanor Breakfast Talks on current issues affecting the commercial real estate industry.
The first online roundtable discussion was on whether the traditional office is dead and we had two opposing views from John Brown, Partner at Lawson & Partners, stating the case for the traditional office model while Zoe Ellis Moore, CEO for Spaces to Places, described the increasing need for flexibility in the current market.
Zoe outlined three big trends she is seeing in the market. Firstly, there’s an increasing demand for co-working space and different formats of offices such as the convenience office which is near the home and then the destination office with an array of facilities, where you might spend a whole day and network.
She described the growth of offices in the suburbs, such as Kingston, to accommodate this recent demand. Secondly tenants are demanding greater flexibility and the length of a typical lease is decreasing. Thirdly is the increasing importance of technology in the office – businesses want features such as media rooms and virtual co-working is a new trend, blending the physical and virtual office experience.
John believes the serviced office has a role to play but the benefit of a traditional office is you have total control over the space and it allows you to display your own brand identity and make a statement.
Security is also an aspect, as you can control the environment and tailor the technology. John pointed towards the trophy HQ buildings in the City which seem to be here to stay. He cited HSBC, which despite announcing it would be cutting 40% of its office space, is still retaining its Canary Wharf HQ.
This was followed by a lively debate with attendees from the industry, when it was concluded that the traditional office is here to stay but it is constantly being re-invented to keep pace with the ever-evolving way in which we work.
We aim to hold a series of Breakfast Talks throughout the year. To see a recording of the speakers click here.