London’s Office Market event

Five things we learnt at the London’s Office Market event


It was an early start for our team members, as we attended, sponsored and spoke at the Bisnow London’s Office Market event. It was great to be back in the room with industry partners and friends old and new.

With much to report, here is a teaser of our 5 key takeaways for the future of the workplace:

1. The role of the office in the war for talent

The office is no longer four walls, it is much, much more. It is a reflection of the business or businesses that reside in them. ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance was the word of the day!

Tajal Rutherford-Bhatt, director of TP Bennett explained that people are after the 3P’s – People, Planet, Profit. Businesses’ values for the first time need to chime with their employees; which is why when thinking about the office we need to think about the talent they are attracting and what they value, this then informs decisions like where the office should be, which materials should be used for the fit out and the general look and feel.

The office needs to reflect the culture and values of its users.

2. Carve up your space

The pandemic has ultimately shaken up our relationship with the office, we were all as surprised as James Goldsmith, Head of Leasing at AXA IM Alts, to learn that JUST 47% of people didn’t want to go back to the workplace full time.

In attracting people back to the office, we need to facilitate 3 things, which was well said by Robert Wolstenholme, founder of Trilogy Real Estate, who explained that the office needs to provide space for three functions – “Heads up, Heads down and Heads together”. This thinking maps out the office well, as we think about spaces to concentrate and collaborate.

Providing just a desk will not suffice!

3. A place people want to be

The big experiment of working from home is over, but for many there is comfort in doing so. To get people back into the office, it needs to be a place people want to go!

This can be done in a number of ways, Stuart Le Boutillier, Senior Associate at Gardiner & Theobald explained that landlords are “installing high-tech gyms… climbing walls… rooftops” to act as a magnet for getting people back to work.

Sanmi Adegoke, CEO of Rehoboth added that businesses are taking smaller spaces to concentrate on quality and offering, without compromising on budgets; he told us that those using his space are “excited to be at work and take photos for Instagram”: the new marker, agreed Jenny Sargeant, Partner at Fladgate.

4. Growing role of flex

The flexible space market is growing rapidly, we learnt from Toby Courtauld, CEO of GPE, who explained that the sector is growing by 20-30% year on year.

Of course, we know the market is growing across the country, we are seeing huge demand in London but also in the cities and towns across the UK. It is no longer the domain of SMEs, but larger corporations looking to diversify their offer to help retain talent. David Kaiser, Head of Real Estate at WeWork introduced us to their newest client Curry’s who have not only moved their HQ into a WeWork but have also taken 1,000 passes so their staff can work from offices around the world.

We learnt from Ronen Journo, European Head of Ops at Hines, that 50% of the global workforce are millennials, who want more flexibility than ever.

5. The Role of Tech

We may say we have Zoom-fatigue, but let’s face it as proclaimed by our own Richard Morris, Sales and Marketing Director, “Hybrid working is here to stay!”

Now the fourth utility, WiFi needs to be considered just as important as water, gas and electricity by landlords, since without it business cannot thrive. It is central to ‘Levelling Up’ but also to aiding productivity and growth. In the flexible workplace sector, plug in and go is more important than ever, as we may be working in Manchester one day and Exeter the next.

For the audience members looking for ways to assist hybrid working, get in touch to learn more about twiinmeet – our tool to bring people together. If you attended the London’s Office Market event and are interested in finding out more about how technologywithin can help you, please get in touch.

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About the Author

Dan Jones