Insights 13th April 2021 flexible

Pre-pandemic, most businesses saw the office as a place where individuals could get work done. Post-pandemic, experts predict that the traditional office building will transform into a vibrant culture space. It will foster collaboration, provide a social anchor for workers, enable learning, and facilitate connections.

Indeed, if Covid has accelerated one permanent change, it’s the way occupiers view office space. Commuting to the workplace five days a week now seems unlikely for many. However, workers are still likely to crave collaboration with team members, face-to-face meetings and a social atmosphere. This is where work space solutions designed and managed specifically for individual companies come in.

Run the business, not the workplace

The majority of companies want to focus on running their businesses, not the workplace it occupies. What’s more, they want a single point of contact so that the process of occupying a space becomes as simple and seamless as possible.

A growing number of businesses crave the simplicity and convenience of a serviced office solution, but with the ability to brand the space to create their own identity and to have bespoke amenities to suit their employees’ requirements. This is not only true of SMEs and start-ups, but increasingly larger firms too. The size and maturity of companies choosing managed office space is on the rise, as multinational corporations such as Siemens and Aviva move towards hybrid 3:2 working models. Managed office solutions have shifted into mainstream global corporate culture. There, the new breed of managed space provision is fast becoming a best-in-class approach to occupier services.

Create a destination

Managed offices offer a streamlined customer journey, providing design-led, occupier-ready workspaces. They create collaborative environments and offer ongoing services that cater to the needs of modern businesses and their workers. This can include everything from the mandatory. Managed offices provide essential amenities like fast Wi-Fi, telecoms, air-conditioning, kitchens, and showers. Additionally, they offer extra perks such as free yoga classes and weekly social events. Opportunities for non-work-related activities are a way to nurture relationships and signal that the office is also about connecting.

All-inclusive pricing

Regarding pricing, landlords can provide flexible terms for a cost-effective whole-occupancy cost. This includes a single all-inclusive rent covering the space, business rates, and associated running costs. Occupiers can move into a fully designed own-branded bespoke space that aligns with their brand and culture. This allows them to meet their employees’ requirements without the upfront capital expenditure associated with traditional office providers.

Managed office space providers excel at creating appealing workplace destinations. As a result, many businesses no longer find it necessary or desirable to undertake the full operational responsibility of acquiring, fitting out, and managing their own leased office space.

Tangible ESG benefits

In addition to providing an appealing product, landlords offering managed space options have notable benefits. These benefits include increased occupier demand, tangible advantages and alternative leasing options.

Investors can enhance transparency and accessibility to consumption data throughout the premises by overseeing the operations of the entire building, including both occupied and common areas. This benefits both occupiers and landlords. This enables more effective implementation of environmental initiatives to improve performance as well as improving the collation of data for environmental reporting.

The whole-building approach facilitated by managed space enhances the delivery of health & wellbeing and community aspects of management. The use of tools such as an office management app, exceptional customer service, and staff health & wellbeing initiatives are central to the building’s offerings. This includes experiential services like concierge and exercise-class bookings.

By adopting this approach, greater efficiencies and economies of scale can be achieved in the delivery of core facilities management (FM) services throughout the entire building. This includes the deployment of single suppliers for services such as cleaning, M&E (mechanical and electrical) and maintenance, rather than relying on a multitude of contractors appointed by occupiers and the landlord’s managing agent.

Owner and occupier in synch

Now more than ever, the relationship between an owner and occupier needs to be one of collaboration. The focus should be on outstanding customer-service. A holistic managed space approach to leasing vacant space enables landlords to really provide space-as-a-service, rather than providing services to space, to the benefit of both occupier and landlord.

Landlords’ readiness to embrace partnership solutions is set to accelerate rapidly in 2021 as employers strive to create work spaces that are worth leaving home for.

By David Soar, Partner, Workman

To find out more, contact our Managed Space team.