The Future Workplace

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CHARLES ORTON-JONES Award-winning journalist, he was editor-at-large of LondonlovesBusiness.com and editor of EuroBusiness. T he office has never been more important. And it is millennials – the twenty and thirty-somethings – who are dictating how, where and when we work. Not only are they now the largest segment of the workforce, accord - ing to professional services firm Deloitte they will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. As such they are rewriting the rule book. Any employer who fails to take note of the needs of this genera - tion, which has never known life without the internet or a smart- phone and has very different ex- pectations about work, will fail to compete. So while in the short term the London office market is being in- f luenced by Brexit fears, rising rents, low vacancy rates, economic uncertainty, nearshoring and off- shoring, employers need to keep their eye on the future. That is why more than nine in ten UK human resources and business leaders see redesigning their or - ganisation as their most important priority, according to Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends 2016 Sur vey. It is not just about efficiencies and productivity, but meeting the varying expectations and working styles of different generational groups, and the need to cater to the employee in an increasingly com - petitive marketplace. The workplace is central to this. Millennials have different values. Three in ten would even accept a 10 per cent reduction in their reward package to work somewhere that had their ideal features, according to British Land research. This is partly because the lines be - tween work and social are increas- ingly being blurred, which has more to do with the residential property market than the office market. "Much has been made of f lexible and home-work - ing, which is ideal if you have a nice, quiet home to work from," says Mat Oakley, re - search director of Savills. "So while two days' working from home might cater to the needs of the more ma - ture worker, what about the 24 year old sharing a f lat with four other people who only has a small bed - room to work from? "Employers have to meet the needs of 'generation rent' and also prepare for the fact that with resi - dential rents rising faster than pro- ductivity, this is likely to impact on their ability to retain these millen- nials. If they need to earn more to pay their rent, they will move to a better-paid job." Office workers are not the only ones who are more nomadic, busi - nesses are too. "The geographical boundaries of London no longer apply. You can find media in London Bridge and advertising on the South Bank. And while moving premises can lead to significant savings, it is less about property costs, which might only be 15 per cent of a business's overheads, and more about moving to the right premises and where the talent wants to be," adds Mr Oakley. As these younger workers spend more time in and around the office, although not necessarily working, the office becomes more im- portant. For the one in seven work- ing for themselves, the same is true, as Olly Olsen, chief executive of The Office Group, points out: "Just because you work for your - self, does not mean you want to work by yourself." Matthew Bon- ning-Snook, a di- rector at property developer Hel- ical Bar, says: "Buildings have to be refurbished more often to keep up with the needs of millennials, whether that is showers and bicycle storage or healthy eating options, fitness and more open spaces. They want the office to have more of a buzz and mixed-use offers this pro - vided there are collaborative areas – and, of course, good coffee." As such the office is increasingly seen as a destination, rather than just somewhere to work. "It is no longer just about offer - ing the right working environment. Businesses want to attract and re- tain talent by focusing on health and wellbeing, catering to the needs of employees not just in the office with natural light, showers, open spaces and everything that employees in - creasingly expect," says Kaela Fenn- Smith, London head of commercial at Land Securities, the UK's largest commercial property company. "It's also about what's on offer out of the office with amenities that everyone wants close by, from great food and retail, to some - where to sit on a sunny day." Matthew Turner, head of mar- keting at Regus UK, adds: "Work- spaces are becoming more of an experience, and one that people want to enjoy for the social aspects as much as the networking, where the blend between work and home is blurred, and where you can work collaboratively and eat and meet with other people – more of a club." But the last word has to go to the millennials. They think offices need to work harder, according to British Land, with 98 per cent of London office workers in this age group saying communal working areas are important, even more than location, but they are not al - ways good enough. In addition, 90 per cent want an "overall buzz" in their office location, and 84 per cent say that outdoor are - as and gardens are also desirable. It seems that in the office of the future, desks hardly figure on the list of wants and desires. But then, will anyone "own" a desk in future? DISTRIBUTED IN RESEARCH PARTNER NIKI CHESWORTH Award-winning finance and human resources journalist, she is the author of more than a dozen books and writes features for newspapers and magazines. PETER CRUSH Freelance business journalist, specialising in human resources and management issues, he was deputy editor of HR magazine. KAREN HIGGINBOTTOM Freelance journalist, she has written on a range of workplace issues for national newspapers and Thomson Reuters. NICK M ARTINDALE Award-winning writer and editor, he contributes to national business and trade press on a wide range of issues. RACONTEUR PUBLISHING MANAGER Richard Hadler DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER Sarah Allidina HEAD OF PRODUCTION Natalia Rosek DESIGN Samuele Motta Grant Chapman Kellie Jerrard PRODUCTION EDITOR Benjamin Chiou MANAGING EDITOR Peter Archer BUSINESS CULTURE FINANCE HE ALTHCARE LIFEST YLE SUSTAINABILIT Y TECHNOLOGY INFOGRAPHICS http://raconteur.net/the-future-workplace CONTRIBUTORS Although this publication is funded through advertising and sponsorship, all editorial is without bias and sponsored features are clearly labelled. For an upcoming schedule, partnership in- quiries or feedback, please call +44 (0)20 8616 7400 or e-mail info@raconteur.net Raconteur is a leading publisher of special-interest content and research. Its publications and articles cover a wide range of topics, including business, finance, sustainability, health- care, lifestyle and technology. Raconteur special reports are published exclusively in The Times and The Sunday Times as well as online at raconteur.net The information contained in this publication has been ob- tained from sources the Proprietors believe to be correct. However, no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher. © Raconteur Media Offices have new look and meaning The workspace is evolving into a place where enterprise and social interaction can combine to promote creativity and drive the economy OVERVIEW NIKI CHESWORTH Share this article online via Raconteur.net The office is increasingly seen as a destination, rather than just somewhere to work The Clubhouse 50 Grosvenor Hill, by London business club The Clubhouse, which provides meeting rooms, hot-desks and lounges RACONTEUR raconteur.net 03 THE FUTURE WORKPLACE 26 / 04 / 2016 THE FUTURE WORKPLACE

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