Editor: In Nottingham and across the Midlands, we have seen some huge companies downsize and move into serviced office accommodation. They are doing so largely to cut costs, but the trend is also a reflection of a much-changed working environment in which employees prize greater flexibility.

shutterstock_93338575_cred hacohob

Source: Shutterstock / hacohob

Serviced office providers have so far been the biggest beneficiaries of this shift, but that’s not to say there’s a dearth of opportunities elsewhere.

Landlords sitting on empty offices could invest in refurbs to appeal to a different audience. Professional services firms tend to place a greater emphasis on high-spec office space because their physical presence acts as a marker of status. In many cases we are talking about multi-million-pound businesses, so poorly equipped, inflexible and unwelcoming offices simply won’t cut it. Every last detail needs to be high-end and, frankly, professional.

Serviced office providers are stepping up to the plate in this respect, which explains why so many top companies are going down the serviced route.

In today’s climate, a commercial landlord who wants to make more out of an unprofitable investment would do well to consider a high-quality refurbishment and offer flexibility to potential tenants.

There’s a lot of money flowing into the sector, including here in the East Midlands, and taking a long-term view, it’s clear demand for flexible office accommodation is here to stay – so the serviced sector is likely to remain lucrative.

It’s worth considering just how much office space is occupied by professional services firms across the country. Landlords should realise we are now entering a time where pragmatism rules and the repurposing of offices is inevitable and welcome.

City centres are changing fast, and there’ll be no prizes for those playing catch-up with the property portfolio.

Thomas Szymkiw, head of agency, NG Chartered Surveyors