As COVID restrictions continue to ease across the UK, and the country edges closer and closer towards a return to normal, the work-from-home trend is beginning to decline. A number of businesses are now in a position to be bringing employees back into the office. Although for some, they no longer have offices to go back to!
The market for commercial property today is clearly there. But unfortunately, market isn’t everything. Reports suggest that 62% of commercial landlords are struggling to rent office space due to a ‘notable shift in tenants’ demands during the pandemic’.
What’s the solution? Really, all it comes down to is providing spaces that businesses want. That part is simple. What isn’t quite so simple is figuring out what tenants are looking for, especially as business needs are continuing to evolve.
What do Business Tenants Want?
Of course, every organisation is different. However, there are three commonly shared elements that businesses are often looking for in today’s landscape:
1. A ready-made environment
During this period of recovery, businesses want to be able to move into a new space quickly and affordably. This means that investing in a CAT-A fit out can help to make a space much more rentable. This sort of fit out ensures that the foundations of a high quality work environment are already in place. So, while a tenant may choose to make optimisations and customisations, they have access to a space that balances productivity, comfort, collaboration, and functionality from the very start.
2. A blank canvas
When viewing a space, businesses must be able to imagine themselves in it. While it’s important for all the underlying characteristics of the environment to already be present, it’s also important for the space to essentially be a ‘blank canvas’ that enables prospective tenants to envision ways to make it their own. Businesses want to see adaptable spaces that they can tailor to support a neurodiverse workforce and facilitate a variety of ways of working productively.
3. A way to maximise employee experience
Today’s businesses understand the challenges they face in bringing employees back to the office. As a result, they’re actively seeking ways to make the on-site experience more attractive, both to existing employees and to prospective new hires. One way that commercial landlords can use this to their advantage is by ensuring that their spaces are designed to support employee wellbeing and boost satisfaction. An example may be the inclusion of shared facilities, such as cycle racks and showers.
If in Doubt… Ask!
For commercial landlords with existing tenants, one of the best ways to figure out what today’s businesses are looking for in property is to ask them how their needs are being met, and what changes or improvements could be made to ensure the space continues to work for them. This sort of insight can help landlords make the best possible decisions for the future of their properties and can go a long way towards developing spaces that attract organisations returning to the office.
At SCAPE, we’re proud to be working with commercial landlords to help them optimise their interiors and ensure spaces align with the needs of today’s tenants.