Savannah de Savary's recent article highlights the growing tech sector as driving demand for office space in London, which reflects Savills' report last month that "companies in the tech and media (TMT) sector have accounted for the greatest proportion of City take up so far this year…."
Savannah notes that tech start-ups often want more flexibility than traditional office occupiers (in part due to their potential for rapid growth) and there is an increasing expectation that the premises that tech businesses occupy should provide the environment, amenities and culture that reflect the tech sector image. The rise of a number of flexible workspace and co-workspace providers, such as The Office Group, We Work, and Workspace, reflect the increasing demand for this type of office.
We Work, who have a network of flexible office spaces across the globe, have a mission "To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living". Whatever this means, We Work's offices offer smart technology, craft beer and prosecco on tap, and an app which allows members to connect with each other (with the aim of promoting collaboration and a sense of community), and this appears to be attractive to businesses who are looking for a different way of working.
But these flexible and shared spaces are not just popular with small tech start-ups: well established organisations are also getting in on the action … and why shouldn't they? Why not have flexible workspace and co-workspace providers focusing on the needs of engineers, writers, administrators, architects, or artists? And why not set them up in service stations, train stations and airports so people can work on the move?
With more employees having flexible and part-time home working arrangements, employers could pay the higher rates that flexible workspace and co-workspace providers tend to charge but save money by just paying for the space that they actually need on the day, rather than paying for offices with empty desks. This flexible workspace and co-workspace revolution could truly change the office landscape.
Free beer on tap, smart building technology, design-led offices and happy hour networking with the other tenants: these are the sort of perks that help attract talent to a startup’s high-risk job offering