Powered by People: A message to the landlord market

Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord Landlords, Workplace strategy

Authored by Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord

Our Powered by People report sheds light on the factors influencing our choices about where to work, who to work for, and why. We know that job vacancies in the UK are at an all-time high, and this has created an intensely competitive job market.

Yet, it’s a mistake to believe that this report highlights challenges exclusive to hiring managers or business leaders. In fact, it’s a reflection of how society is re-evaluating the entire working experience. A closer look at the report’s insights sends a clear message to landlords operating within the commercial office space. There’s an opportunity to harness the built environment to create the experience that the workforce, and prospective tenants, want and need.

A better workplace experience

Data gathered from 1,500 members of the workforce revealed that 70% believe employers should being doing more to improve office interiors. Alongside this, over half of the C-suite surveyed reported a drop in employee engagement over the course of the last year. It’s clear then, that users are looking for motivational, empowering destinations to work in. Now that the work from home guidance has lifted, there’s little time to act. While business leaders are deliberating the size and location of their future workplace, landlords have the chance to present a suite of rapid solutions.

Ready-to-work spaces provide an immediate answer for both growing businesses, and businesses that are looking to reduce their real estate. These spaces offer everything that co-working or shared offices can do - but on a bigger scale. Additional features like tailored design and integrated technology mean that business owners and prospective tenants no longer have to imagine - they can touch, feel and most importantly, get to work without delay.

Offering a solution to your tenant’s challenges

Not only are business leaders reconsidering the size and location of their offices, but also what to offer their people once they arrive at the space. Peldon Rose’s Powered by People report revealed that in 2022, the top three office priorities for employees are:

  • A workplace that supports activity and wellbeing
  • High-quality technology
  • A space that’s catered for different ways of working

The above factors clearly reflect the benefits and challenges we’ve experienced when working from home. A renewed emphasis on the importance of caring for physical and mental health must also transcend into the world of work. Landlords who offer spaces with high specification amenities, outdoor terraces, and even dedicated areas for exercise within an environment that features biophilia and natural light will benefit. Here is a ready-made solution for tenants looking to support their team’s varying wellbeing needs.

As hybrid working becomes ingrained into our working habits, high-quality technology is non-negotiable. SmartSpace technology, sophisticated AV or high-speed internet connectivity will allow occupants to reintegrate seamlessly into the workplace improving productivity. If landlords can evidence this, the result is a space that’s invaluable to your tenants’ business objectives.

Designing a building from the outside in

The message from the report is clear, the power is now in people’s hands to influence the changes they’d like to see. From an employee perspective, this is commanding and demanding a better experience at work. From an employer’s perspective, the physical workplace is a tangible way to create this elevated working experience. This now places a huge responsibility on the built environment to satisfy these heightened expectations.

The differentiator will exist within design. Design doesn’t begin at Cat A and end at colour palettes and soft furnishings, either. To create a workplace that tenants can be proud of, design must be all-encompassing. We’re finding more and more that the relationship between landlord and tenant now begins at the building’s exterior, and first impressions count. At Laystall Street and Thirty Lighterman, the building’s façade creates an impression that entices the user to enter. The quality of the journey is then maintained throughout, supporting the tenant lifecycle at every step, down to the kitchen facilities and breakout spaces the building provides.

An understanding of the bigger picture

Equally, to satisfy the evolving demands of tenants, workplace design should carefully consider the elements not so easily seen. Quite rightly, businesses are prioritising sustainable agendas more and more. In a prime office space in Hammersmith, design adaptations create an environmentally responsible workplace awarded BREEAM rating ‘Excellent’. Landlords can testify that they understand the importance of sustainability via these building accreditations and offer an attractive tenant proposition.

Our Powered by People report encourages business leaders to acknowledge how the workforce’s demands are changing, which in turn must influence business strategy. Interestingly, 54% of the C-suite surveyed confirmed that they would invest in a new workspace if it would improve talent attraction and retention. If landlords can anticipate this shift in demand to offer a solution that will enable their tenants’ businesses to grow and thrive, then building loyalty and building advocacy will follow suit.

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