Commercial property investors want to know that when they invest in an office space it will be full with tenants. That means investing in a location and space that employers think will be a desirable place to work for their employees. Therefore this week I take a look at the needs and wants of workers to inform commercial property investors about where and what they should be investing in to ensure they’re never short of tenants.
Location, Location, Location
Get the location right and you’ve won half the battle. According to Savills’ most recent survey of UK office workers 58% of them want to spend the majority of their working time in a town or city centre with the key drivers being good public transport links, local amenities and a ‘buzzy’ location. As you might expect, the length and cost of commute are also factors that employees consider highly important. While much of this depends on where the employees themselves live, investing in a building accessible by a variety of transport options such as train, tube, bus and bicycle is ideal.
When spending more than 40 hours a week inside the same building to work, the space itself is important to get right. Much of this will be dictated by the tenant’s office design but it’s still useful to be aware of what employers might want to do with the space.
Open plan office spaces are common in the UK with over 70% of people working in them and hot desking is on the rise. However according to reports, more than half of workers like to have their own desk that they return to every day. The ability to personalise their workspace and the familiarity of returning to the same space every day is valuable to them. And aside from having their own desk, workers also want to work in an office where there are a variety of workspaces and areas so they can change their scenery when they feel their productivity dipping during the day. Different meeting rooms, lounge spaces, standing desks and social areas are all appreciated.
The factors that workers consider the most important for their workspace are what most people would consider the basics but are often overlooked. These are cleanliness, comfort, noise level, temperature, lighting, air quality, smell and security. We’ve all visited offices where many of these factors are not given the attention they should be and apparently the majority of workers agree with these also being the factors that workers are most dissatisfied with.
Also of high importance for office workers is having good quality wifi and mobile signal, quiet spaces for when they need to focus and plenty of bathrooms. While most of these are not new or surprising, one factor that is newly important to workers is the ability to recycle. Employees want to be given the tools and opportunities to do their small bit for the environment. This might also include providing bicycle storage and changing rooms to encourage green commuting.
The ability to receive and store parcels in the workplace is also a service that has become important in recent years, particularly for younger workers. As buying patterns have shifted online, more and more people are ordering their parcels to be delivered at work where they will be received. Having a parcel procedure and storage area for them is something many workers are now considering as important.
What are the most important factors for your workplace?
Source: Savills, 2019
Attracting and retaining talent and ensuring the workforce is at its most productive is a key concern for employers right now and while the competition is so high, employers with a great office in a great location are finding themselves out in front. For investors, having such a space to lease means being able to attract high quality tenants that are willing and able to pay for a space that keeps their employees happy and productive.
ambT Property Partners currently has available for investment several commercial properties in prime city locations. You can view full details of our investment opportunities by joining our Investors Clubor by contacting a member of our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.