Adaptive reuse: defining new purpose for existing buildings
Ever since buildings have been built, they have been repurposed. How can existing building assets remain relevant in a changing world?
We can expect major changes within the coworking/shared office sector – and there’s no shortage of predictions on what those changes will look like. We ask 6 industry experts for their take on post-pandemic coworking.
The coworking landscape has seen many existing positive design features being cemented into occupier demand. A reduction in desk density has created more space for collaboration and social interaction. Tapping into the culture of organisations has become essential as workplaces evolve to be a crossover of work, home, leisure and hospitality. Wellness, sustainable commuting, outside space, fresh air, sustainable materials and biophilia have become crystallised on landlords’ must-have lists.
As we enter a new period of uncertainty around COVID-19, demand continues to grow at ARC Club. Many offices remain shut – and with staff working well remotely, why return to business as usual? At the same time, the honeymoon period of working from home is over. People want to feel professional again without the commute. They need a third space, between home and the office. A neighbourhood workplace is it.
The overall commercial real estate market will be smaller but the proportion of flexible workspace overall will be higher as corporates move away from long-term leases towards more flexible terms and use. With more remote working, companies now want to take less space but pay for more workspace as they need it, and landlords are adapting. It is impossible to plan one year out at the moment, let alone 5-10 years, so long term commitments are in short supply.
Beyond the pretty pictures of modern, open plan workspaces, coworking operators have packed their floorplates to the max. This makes it hard for tenants to return post-pandemic, unless there is a re-think on the coworking offer. Businesses returning to the office are looking for more control over their workspaces – they want lower densities to keep staff safe and an opportunity to personalise the working environment. Coworking operators must re-purpose their real estate to allow for a more flexible approach to small office suites.
We feel that there will be a greater emphasis on collaboration in the workplace, which will be a catalyst for re-thinking what is important in workplace design. We have a portfolio of products that are ideal for collaborative working – and we continue to evolve our products whilst keeping true to our commitment to the environment; products made with soul and designed and made in the UK.
The current situation has taken coworking spaces and serviced office providers to a whole new level. With large corporates implementing changing strategies and moving to smaller satellite locations rather than large headquarters, it brings a whole fresh set of parameters and expectations. We are working with hotels and clubs/event space operators to rework their spaces to form coworking spaces, incorporating premium food micro-markets and coffee bars to entice a completely new audience.
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