Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News Release


Future Proofing Workplaces

for tomorrow's workspaces

NOTTINGHAM July 18, 2017 – With the recent news that WeWork is set to open its first regional office in the UK and the unrelenting march of workspace providers in London it is pertinent to note that change is coming to the workplace, as advancing technology and data driven insights now fuel new ways of working.

Both developers and their property will have to adapt as a workplace designed on today's needs and assumptions could be redundant in little more than a decade, according to James Keeton, director in JLL's Nottingham office.

In the East Midlands, the shift in workspace trends is already tangible with office providers, occupiers and landlords alike looking at how they can make their workspace more agile, flexible and relevant to modern working practices and employee demands.

Keeton says: "Property is a market that is ripe for innovation. Technology can bring great opportunities to investors but can be a threat for our industry if ignored.

"There is significant demand for flexible working space across the East Midlands, with entrepreneurs and early stage businesses seeking non-traditional office buildings on increasingly flexible terms. Leading businesses now focus in on digital strategy as a business development driver – so increasingly they are looking for more creative environments."

Future-proofing and the evolution of office space in Nottingham is here: local developer Bildurn is set to deliver 50,000 sq ft of office space via a bespoke development of 11 Station Street in the city, as it targets the new wave of occupier.

Striking in appearance, the building is being designed to deliver interactive and creative spaces, flexibility in occupation and a proposed fit out that will entice occupiers and employees alike as a place to want to work. This all combined with unrivalled infrastructure.

In a world that is constantly evolving, being alert to change is vital.

By 2030 it is expected around 30 percent of investment portfolios will comprise flexible space as companies attempt to scale their portfolios in response to increasing numbers of contingent and autonomous workers, according to the latest research from JLL.

Ben Kelly, director in JLL's Birmingham-based Capital Markets team, says: " Investors are already zeroing in on assets that have a competitive technological and sustainable edge, including smart systems and in built flexibility to accommodate future technological enhancements."

"The investment market is aligned to the occupier market and investors will always look to buy asset classes that draw in blue-chip occupiers with the latest facilities. Whatever occupiers want, investors will target. Therefore, future-proofing offices is just as much about making them attractive to investors as occupiers."

So how can firms take steps today to put them in a better position tomorrow?

Review facilities

Workplaces will need to be more modular and suitable for cost effective redesign while accelerator, incubator and innovation spaces will be a core component of real estate and innovation strategy.

In addition, as companies become more dependent on the speed and resilience of communication networks, optimal connectivity will become a key competitive advantage.

Drab, airless offices aren't good for anyone. Better design, can help improve air-quality, make the most of natural light and create active workplaces.

Technology-focused workspace

Emerging technologies like virtual reality will begin to enter some of the more leading-edge workspaces, while the number of devices connected to the internet is predicted to surge to 20 billion. Over the coming decade advances in computing power and artificial intelligence will transform how people work.

Data Drivers

Sensors and smart systems are already appearing in many offices to measure how buildings are used. In the coming years these will enter the workplace at a rapid rate to not only improve the operational efficiency of buildings, but also generate huge volumes of data on workplaces and the people who use them. This data will lead the design of physical space, empowering occupiers to align the configuration of their spaces with business outcomes.

Create an experience led workplace

User experience will become an increasingly crucial factor in the workplace design. Offices with generous food and beverage provisions, kitted out with gyms, games and recreation spaces are becoming increasingly common as firms compete for top talent.