After two years of unprecedented challenges faced by real estate, experts share their predictions for 2022.
Chief executive, Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work
We have remained operational throughout Covid and we’ll continue to support our guests in 2022 as we adapt to the changing circumstances and challenges. We believe offices will remain very much in demand.
We welcomed two new brands in 2021 and another company will be moving into our campus early in 2022. We want to be able to continue to provide the optimum environment for our brands to succeed by offering excellent amenities, services and an extraordinary programme of events and experiences that enhance our guests’ wellbeing and productivity.
Given the significance of the ESG agenda, we will take our ESG strategy, Enjoy-Work Together, to the next level to ensure we manage and support our business responsibly.
Chief executive, Dolphin Living
The cost of rent and home ownership steadily increased in 2021 and will continue to rise in 2022. As a result, we need increased support for the ‘squeezed middle’, both those unable to afford London rents and those unable to qualify for government housing support. Many are key workers who have tirelessly supported us during the pandemic. Now it’s our turn to support them by providing affordable housing near to their places of work.
I also expect that service charge will continue to be an issue, both for residents and housing associations that manage affordable housing in partnership with larger landlords. The government will need to seriously consider introducing primary legislation to resolve this scandal within the sector.
Sustainability should be integral in 2022. We are calling on the government to act to mitigate some of the costs associated with increased sustainability credentials to ensure we are not inadvertently reducing the number of affordable homes as an unintended consequence.
Managing director, JTRE London
The growth of hybrid working will change the layout of offices, from hot-desking to more break-out spaces, as working from home becomes integrated into weekly work patterns. Occupiers will use buildings’ facilities to entice employees back to the office and strengthen companies’ esprit de corps. This is important both to retain existing staff and as part of the war for talent.
The best people will be drawn to employers that have great offices and where employees want to be. With so many choosing to work from home, at least for part of the week, the office will evolve from just a place to work into somewhere staff want to be.
As well as internal facilities, such as gyms and onsite coffee shops, the convenience and choice within a 15-minute neighbourhood will make offices more attractive to staff as recruitment continues to be a main driver for change.
Corporate investment manager, Fabrix
Since inception, we have created spaces centred on an ethos of reuse and repurposing, and over 2021 we were delighted by the increasing attention on this from the industry. We hope this momentum will continue in 2022, with a laser focus on the steps needed to reduce (not just offset) the built environment’s carbon footprint over this next critical decade. In particular, we hope the wide-reaching benefits of urban greening and delivering positive impact to communities are recognised.
A lingering pandemic may shift focus in the short term, and we expect this to reinforce what many have known for some time – dreary, steel-box offices are no longer fit for purpose. The challenge will be marrying these competing priorities – delivering new, exciting spaces that are healthy and sustainable and improve the lives of not just occupiers but surrounding communities, too.
We urge the industry to not make reactive decisions to raise easy money for strategies badged with ‘impact’, but to use this opportunity to make genuine positive change.
Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself…
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Predictions for 2022: Brace yourself (part seventeen)