By Paul Wise, 01-May-2013 15:36:00
Location, fast Wi-fi and a bespoke office fit-out are the factors most likely to attract high-calibre employees, according to a study by Savills and the British Council of Offices.
The report, What Workers Want, surveyed 1,168 office workers to identify the most important factors in determining their decisions on where to work.
It concluded office location was the biggest factor in the majority (67%) of employees’ decisions – although ‘Generation Y’ (18-34-year-olds) rated location as a bigger influencer on employment decisions than older respondents (73% compared to 64%).
Older workers rated good Wi-fi access higher than younger workers. Almost half (45%) of over 55-year-olds rated it as very important in their ideal workplace, compared to just 36% of 18-24 year-olds.
But younger workers rated a sophisticated, bespoke office fit-out more highly than their older colleagues – with offices such as those of Innocent Drinks and technology company Mind Candy capturing this demographic’s imagination. Almost half of 18-24-year-olds preferred a bespoke fit-out compared with 28% who preferred a more corporate design.
BCO chief executive Richard Kauntze said: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that the needs of office workers, after years of uniformity, are ever more diverse. The advent of new technology and more innovative approaches to workplace design, along with the growing age range of office workers, are likely to accelerate this trend.
Marie Hickey, associate director at Savills, said: “TMT organisations have raised the expectations of employers with Google-style fit-outs linked to higher productivity levels.
“But what’s really key is getting the basics right. You don’t necessarily need to ‘wow’ staff or prospective occupiers. Space, comfort, good lighting, kitchen facilities and WiFi will have huge value and won’t necessarily break the bank.”
By Paul Wise, 23-Apr-2013 13:32:00
The government has decided to impose shorter time limits for challenges to unpopular developments.
People will only have six weeks to start a judicial review in the High Court compared with three months currently. Fees to lodge a review will be quadrupled in a clampdown on frivolous cases. The Daily Telegraph adds that planning reforms have adversely affected the building of new homes.
By Paul Wise, 18-Apr-2013 08:25:00
Crossrail, the east-west rail link through London, will cause more property ripples, and have a bigger impact on the Capital, than even the latest Tube extensions to the Jubilee and East London line, according to new analysis by Jones Lang LaSalle.
JLL says that in key places along the route, prices are likely to outperform the rest of London and rise by up to 44% between now and when trains start running in 2018. While neighbourhoods around the five new central London stations may see the greatest price lift, outer London locations and homes in Berkshire and Essex will benefit too. Ealing and Woolwich are also tipped for strong growth - as is Canary Wharf, which for the first time will have a direct link to Heathrow.
Meanwhile, separate research from GVA has found that the "Crossrail factor" is already driving property investment in London. GVA remarks that as well as being transport interchanges, Crossrail stations will become business hubs, with more than 3m square feet of new offices and shops.
By Paul Wise, 16-Apr-2013 08:40:00
Pressure is on London to build millions of homes by 2021 to cater for a surge in households across England.
Office for National Statistics figures show the number of households in England will have grown by 2.2m over 10 years to 2021. The rate of increase in London will be double that of the North and the Midlands. Analysis of the data by Knight Frank shows London will see the most rapid growth of nine English regions. The Department for Communities and Local Government said the government was “pulling out all the stops to get Britain building”.
By Paul Wise, 16-Apr-2013 08:25:00
There is 11.7m sq ft of obsolete space in the regions, of which 7.4m could be suitable for residential conversion under the government’s new planning rules, according to research by Lambert Smith Hampton.
The analysis of 32 regional markets found the 7.4m sq ft of obsolete office space across the country, if converted, could be turned into 11,500 dwellings.
The government is pushing an initiative to encourage developers to consider converting office buildings into homes and has relaxed planning rules to make it easier to do so. It believes that easing the rules will help to provide housing and could remove the blight of ageing, empty office buildings from many town centres across Britain.
Developers would not have to seek consent to change the use of a building from office to residential. However, any internal conversion would still have to meet building control regulations and, if external alterations were needed, such as recladding, a fresh planning application would have to be submitted.
Tony Fisher, Lambert Smith Hampton’s national head of office agency, said that the country was littered with redundant office space because tenants’ workspace requirements had changed over the years. “They now need flexible, open-plan space and — crucially — less of it. In the past 20 years, the amount of allocated space per person in an average UK office has halved.
“Office occupier requirements will continue in this vein, meaning any stock that does not meet modern workplace trends is unlikely ever to be let again. While not every obsolete building can be converted [to residential], a fair proportion could be.”
Fisher added the incentive to convert was greatest in London, where the gap between office and residential values was highest. He added: “The gains to be made from conversion are substantial across the UK. Average capital values for UK residential space are approximately £155 per sq ft, compared with average secondary and tertiary office values, which range from £30 to £80 per sq ft.”
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