What Do Office Tenants Want?

Savills’ fourth edition of ‘What Workers Want’ survey reviews and analyses the results from the UK respondents to identify key trends for landlords and office-based occupiers across all business sectors.

Savills say: Office trends are increasingly driven by the employee rather than the occupier. It is important that occupiers understand their employees’ needs when they relocate or open a new office. This is particularly important during the fit-out process when moving into a new office.

The main conclusions of the Savills survey are:

Location – office workers place a high importance on public transport connectivity and proximity to amenities.

Layout – Open-plan offices are the dominant layout preference for occupiers with 80% working in this type of layout, but 45% of respondents believe hot-desking decreases their productivity.

Comfort – 60% of office workers preferred to have their own dedicated desk. Only 34% of respondents have been asked for their views on the office environment by their employer.

Flexibility – Occupiers are encouraging their staff to work flexibly whether that be remote working or promoting hot-desking. However, a third of respondents believe the company they work for does not possess the relevant technology.

Technology – Landlords and tenants may be able to increase staff productivity by use of smartphone apps.

Deliveries – Occupiers and landlords need to consider how they can improve the provision of parcel lockers by potentially using redundant ground floor/basement space.

Break-Out – Landlords and tenants need to ensure there are appropriate break-out areas or purpose-built cafés for their staff.

The most important factor in an office worker’s ideal workplace was the comfort of work area with 92% of the respondents considering this as highly important.

The quality of Wi-Fi technology has become a key factor in the workplace. This was evident from the survey, as 80% of respondents believed this was an important component in their ideal workplace. Tenants are increasingly using smart technologies, which are also becoming incorporated into office buildings.

Further research by Metropolis has highlighted the importance of ‘smart buildings’ to potential incoming tenants.

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Workplace strategy – the next wave

The recent Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Corporate Real Estate (CRE) Survey raised some interesting issues on the future of the office workplace and how office tenants plan to use their space in the future.

The main findings were:

  • improving productivity of the office environment
  • improving the quality of the office environment
  • improving flexibility
  • enabling remote working

Separate teleresearch by Metropolis over the last year had found that the number one aim of facilities managers is the sub-letting of surplus space, although this has recently seen a shift towards concerns on having enough space for expansion. As a result, a small but increasing number of firms are looking at taking more floors in their existing building.