By Nick Lee, Head of Commercial Development, CEG
We are seeing a systemic shift in how we design our office space. Directors recognise that the right working environment delivers tangible benefits from attracting and retaining the best talent to increasing productivity.
Inspiring environments. Diverse local amenities. Healthy lifestyles. These are all high on the list of occupier requirements, along with reduced building operating costs.
Staff are now an incredibly important part of the decision making process and a positive working environment is vital for all new build developments. A CEO will have less interest in a building’s technical specification but discovering that 47% of employees say that their offices aren’t conducive to productivity (according to the Leesman Index) will attract their attention.
Engineering solutions such as purged, filtered, fresh air, cooled perfectly to the optimum temperature to maximise productivity, become an attractive option. An office with a gym, showers, cycle facilities and lunchtime fitness classes is as important as the amount of natural light the staff will benefit from.
Offices need to inspire those working within them. The variety of spaces offered becomes key - collaboration amongst employees has moved far beyond the water cooler; quiet rooms, telephone or skype rooms, break-out pods and places to eat together can provide a suitable environment to meet, chat, work and get good coffee. Flexible, co-working environments enabling the team to work in the space that best suits their daily to-do list improves efficiency and reduces businesses running costs.
Intelligent buildings will radically change the workplace. Imagine an office that offers an informed, personalised welcome to employees using facial recognition technology. An office that empowers the employee to take entire ownership of their surrounding environment. From temperature, to light, to room booking, audio visual management to location services. Intelligent notifications will enable a Facilities Manager to place an order for a failing part, ahead of time. All of these initiatives will become the norm for the next generation of employees.
And the developers are ready. At Kirkstall Forge our first flagship 110,000 sq ft office development will complete in autumn 2017. The basebuild design has taken into account the collaborative working concept to provide fit-out flexibility. The ground floor café, flexible reception space, working pods and break-out areas will all encourage a new community to emerge. Power and telecommunication resilience offers best-in-class connectivity. Even the spectacular roof terraces offer the electrical and water services to enable barbecues and events. All meeting rooms harness views of the ancient woodland and riverside to fulfil the team’s wellbeing.
But it isn’t just the quality and sustainability of the building which has secured a 50% pre-let. It is the vision for the site; a train station connecting staff to the City Centre in just six minutes, cafés, bars, restaurants, shops, a gym on the doorstep and the ability to cycle or jog the canal towpath or take a riverside walk to the parkland at the abbey at lunchtime make Kirkstall Forge a calm and beautiful place to be.
It is a place to live, work, thrive and prosper; close to the city, yet filled with green space and waterfront opportunity, it will provide the vibrancy of city life as well as the tranquillity of the outdoors. This, coupled with our BREEAM Excellent, Grade A office space with its exceptional working environment, is attracting traditional city centre office enquiries as well as inspirational trend setters.
Yorkshire, PwC United Kingdom
North East, PwC United Kingdom
Yorkshire and the North East, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)7841 468175