What does your office look like?
From the 1950’s into the 60’s and early 70’s, low spec and low tech were the primary characteristics of pretty much all office space. The progression into the 70’s saw what we would now recognise as ‘modern’ offices with proper passenger lifts; suspended ceilings; mechanical air handling and the like. The 80’s and early 90’s saw more and more updates on the 70’s model of what an office should look like as we headed into high tech, high spec work places crammed with up to the minute IT and technological gizmos. Into the new Century and the green agenda became slowly wedded to that fast track of technology packed office space.
After so much progress in how our offices looked we then had recession. A report at the beginning of this year by Deloitte started to paint the emerging picture that is becoming clear in this new era where viability needs to capture low maintenance and lower construction costs. The report thinks a future office with be less sophisticated in finish with lowered specifications and less reliance on integrated IT infrastructure. The report suggests much will be learnt and used from cheaper residential construction styles.
With widespread wi-fi, cloud technology, powerful smartphones and the like means work space is fusing with personal technology at an unrecognisable pace. So as workplaces have to become more flexible to accommodate home working, hot desking and part time work the “traditional office” has had to change.
How this all impacts on the property market is many and varied so that not only are property professionals having to advise clients on what to do with the secondhand office space that has come back to so many but also help interpret and advise occupiers; developers and funds on how office space will look like in the future.
At Harris Lamb our office acquisition and advice work for occupier clients has seen for instance the trend for condensing occupancy and higher density for say 1:80/1:100 sq. ft. as opposed to levels 10 years ago of 1:110 sq. ft. and upwards. Our space planning has changed as have the specifications on refurbishments and new build.
Whatever happens going forward people will still need to work together and the office has its place. The key is how space will evolve and how fashions will change, the out of town office park has perhaps had its day and the trend for location next to key transport points and even town centres! This may all keep us alive to clients changing requirements for the space they occupy.
If you would like help or advice on what your office could look like then contact one of the Building Consultancy and Project Team at Harris Lamb on 0121 455 9455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org