As described in the ‘great ‘hotelification drive’, decision makers in the property industry are finding it necessary to combat the great resignation and compete with the comfort and convenience of working from home by shifting their approach to office spaces - making them more attractive, more focused on wellbeing and essentially more like hotels and leisure spaces.

This has been described by some as a ‘flight to quality’ – but how exactly is that level of quality reached and measured?

What’s missing from the conversation is the application of audience analysis and market intelligence to interior and amenity design. It’s not just about transferring a hospitality or hotel aesthetic into corporate environments – it’s about businesses researching the types of tenants expected and profiling their people. Hospitality brands think about their guests as personas and if businesses really want to make “employee experiences” meaningful, the same approach should be applied to commercial design.

At MAWD, we have seen first-hand the focus on guest profile and user experience in hospitality. We are now applying these hospitality-led principles to office space, looking to connect with potential tenants through design, creating multi-functional destinations that put people first.

When designing for landlords, the process is driven by the types of tenants as organisations that will be attracted – creating a wide appeal, but with a definite focus and attitude, feel and opinion.

When designing for tenants, it is about getting to understand their people – the different generations, personas and backgrounds that make up their organisation and appealing to them. What about the introverts? What about the Gen-Zs or those who are only coming into their office experience post-pandemic? Of course, bars and spaces to socialise are important, but when competing with the attraction of working from home these are almost a given. What is often forgotten are those quality spaces for quiet work, relaxation and more private meetings and socialising.

True experiences only come from really knowing your audience.

James White, co-founder, global interior designers MAWD