If the office is to endure, it must become more than just a workplace, it needs to be a destination.
The office must transform into a dynamic, adaptable and inspirational space, impeccably adapted to the needs of the user, brimming with data-driven efficiencies and teeming with collaborative opportunities. The office needs to stand out as the place to be, making working from home the less desirable option, and facilitating productivity like never before.
The changing purpose of office space challenges landlords to evolve their product to match the new needs of the occupier. To understand what’s expected from landlords, we must first articulate occupier demands and, when it comes to outstanding tenant requirements, what’s clear is that the occupier is looking for a people-first approach.
The office, as a multifunctional space, is now an instrumental aspect of day-to-day business, so getting it right is business critical. Employee attendance, wellbeing and cognitive performance are all impacted by the office environment. Therefore, any plans to adapt offices to make them future-forward spaces must be made with people as the primary concern. To achieve the people-first approach, a marriage between HR and Real Estate needs to occur to pursue the decisions about where people will be, what they will want, and (crucially) how to keep them safe as we emerge from a global pandemic.
The concept of choice is central to the way people foresee interacting with the office. But, what does choice look like? Choice means flexibility, and flexibility requires a sturdy digital backbone if it’s going to be effective. When we’re all working together in offices again, half of us will probably be dialing-in virtually, and the other half will be making the most of better WiFi, free coffee and in-person collaboration. So, choice means giving the tenant the option to operate both from home, and the office. To facilitate this, a sound digital infrastructure is required, otherwise, employees no longer have a choice as to where they work, and the business doesn’t have the flexibility to operate in the fast and adaptable manner COVID-19 has necessitated.