Every week, a new survey is published or a statement from a chief executive hits the press related to corporate occupiers’ desire to adopt a form of hybrid working for the long term – and, as a result, the desire to occupy less space in their central office hub.
Landlords are asking: what do we do now to attract occupiers and fill our buildings?
I have an idea that is of its time; a time when the world has started to cooperate, collaborate and work towards a common purpose – when work, life, values and priorities are shifting. Employers are seeking to look after their people in a holistic way in and out of the office.
What if landlords came together with their occupier clients to support lifestyles and not only workstyles?
Landlords, ask yourselves: who is your customer? No, it is not the chief executive, but the entire workforce that occupies each and every building in your portfolio. Yes, all the portfolio, not just those within a single building.
My suggestion is treating your occupiers as members rather than as tenants – members of your exclusive club. Provide those members with perks and benefits.
For example, access to all the shared landlord-provided facilities and events in all the portfolio: the co-working spaces, breakout spaces, gym, cycle parking, showers, TED talks, concierge services and so on across the whole portfolio.
On top of that, tap into the buying power of that community of members by negotiating discounts or benefits with lifestyle products such as Netflix, Just Eat, Spotify, Uber, cinemas, theatres and health clubs, all accessed via an app for members.
Imagine the win-win: occupiers win as they see this as a benefit to all their staff; landlords build brand loyalty and differentiate themselves – and keep their customers within their portfolio for the long term. Dare to imagine: is this the time for that elusive concept of partnering?
Ken Giannini is director at MCM Architecture