Competitive markets, the war to recruit the best talent and high expectations from employees mean there’s a lot for businesses to contend with when it comes to achieving their ambitions. Workplace cultures are evolving and businesses are having to adapt to accommodate these changing demands.
As an industry, we too need to adapt. We’re seeing new methods and models being brought to life across the property sector, from mixed-use spaces that reflect the blurring lines between working and living to bespoke developments for pre-let customers and the digital technology modernising construction. It is our job to understand what customers want and how to embrace new trends.
In a constantly evolving and changing world, flexibility is key for all businesses, whatever their shape, size or purpose.
Focus on start-ups
Small and medium-sized enterprises make up 99.9% of all UK private-sector business. But the focus can often be on start-ups, with scale-up businesses that are past the early growth size but don’t yet have the capital or the resources of a larger, more established business being overlooked.
It’s these businesses where flexibility is arguably even more critical to allow them to grow and evolve at their own pace and in their own way.
More and more businesses in this size category are looking to the flexible office market to help them do this. They need more than just a desk. Customisable spaces and the ability to design and control their own space to reflect their brand are critical at this point in their growth.
This is why Landsec’s flexible office brand, Myo, puts firms’ brands front and centre, with their names above the door. Whatever stage of growth they’re at, businesses want to build their brand and develop their culture on the inside, so they can make their mark outside in their own markets.
Flexibility, whether in lease length or fit-out, is key, as is the stability of knowing that everything else from superfast connectivity and IT support to access to meeting spaces and health and wellbeing facilities is taken care of.
However, flexible offices are not just the domain of the SME. While a fully serviced offering gives smaller businesses the stability they need, for larger, more established businesses the flexible office sector serves a different purpose, allowing them to be more agile and create different working environments for inspiration or collaboration.
We are seeing a growing trend towards larger companies searching for additional homes beyond their headquarters – whether that be a hub for innovation or a project team that needs headspace to concentrate combined with office space to collaborate.
Combining stability and flexibility to provide exciting spaces that can move and flex as companies evolve and develop is key – the size of the business doesn’t matter.
Colette O’Shea is managing director of the London portfolio at Landsec