Making money from offices – the next step – The Property Chronicle
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Making money from offices – the next step

The Professor

As placemaking is rapidly changing the urban landscape, the way we view real estate value needs to adapt to meet evolving community demands,wherepeople create places where they want to actually live, play and work. Increasingly, space in the city is linked to younger generations and the knowledge (gig) economy where shifting lifestyles and open all hours’ irregular work schedules will be the new normal. This interconnection is shaping current and future city office markets which looks beyond the traditional space, financial and lease demands to flexible operating platforms. Owners and investors need to understand the new avenues to create real estate value and seek opportunities to reap commercial rewards far beyond the historical landlord and tenant arrangements.

Whilst space, property and capital markets have been the traditional real estate drivers, the knowledge economy provides an additional layer which is guiding occupier demand. The key elements cover digital connectivity, increased globalisation, environmental concerns and strategic resources alongside post Covid-19 recognition of disaster preparedness. These megatrends are changing the working environment by improving individual’s work experience (productivity) and creating new workplace settings. 

As technology redefines the workplace, younger generations are changing the traditional work contract, the nomadic multitask workforce can move seamlessly between organisations, building a freelancing career on entrepreneurship and their interests. Being digital natives, they will take up remote and flexible working practices and increasingly able to work anywhere, causing organisations to reconsider their real estate strategy around more flexible options.

To attract and retain the young knowledge workforce, the modern office setting is becoming more inviting and informal. New workplaces look to breakdown boundaries as to socialise and share knowledge with a focus on occupier experience and wellbeing. Ergonomic desks, meeting and social space offers a creative comfortable work environment where the smart office starts to become your sixth sense, as a personal assistant to support you in your daily activities.

The Professor

About David Higgins and Peter Wood

Prof. David Higgins and Peter Wood are senior academics and part of the Property and Planning Research Group at Birmingham City University. Both have extensive industry experience and regularly consult to property clients on the changing real estate landscape.

Articles by David Higgins and Peter Wood

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