The world of work is changing. The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace of change. However, talk about the imminent demise of the office is premature. In this article, we examine the changing role of the office. We discuss why commercial landlords need to create digitally enabled workspaces to attract the best tenants. We look at Modern Networks IT-Ready Office Solutions, which provide secure, segregated IT networks for office buildings with multiple occupants.
World of work is changing
Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, the world of work was changing rapidly. Around 1.7 million people across the UK reported working mainly from home during 20191. Between 2015 and the first half of 2019, the volume of flexible office space in the UK grew to 87 million square feet2. There are over 6,075 flexible workspace centres across the UK3. Although occupancy rates have fallen due to the pandemic, between 2015 and 2020 the size of the UK serviced office market grew by 18 percent4.
The benefits of flexible office space
In an unpredictable world, serviced offices offer a range of business benefits such as flexible and short-term leases, immediate occupancy, cost reductions, access to amenities, the latest office equipment, IT systems and telephony. Office layout, design and location can help with everything from staff recruitment and retention to wellbeing. The office is also the place where corporate culture and identity is established and cultivated.
Room to grow
At the start of 2019, there were 5.9 million small and medium-sized businesses in the UK5. Unfortunately, that number is likely to fall due to the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. However, while hospitality and travel businesses have had to close their doors, many technology companies have experienced unprecedented demand. We cannot predict all the consequences of the current crisis. It is likely that lots of new businesses will emerge, and many of them will need office space to grow.
IT enabled offices
Technology, not the Coronavirus, is changing the world of work. Digitally enabled office space is critically important to today’s tenants, especially entrepreneurial start-ups, advertising, media, design and information-based firms. Tenants want uninterrupted fast-fibre Internet and access to the latest Cloud-based services. As a commercial landlord, it is imperative your buildings are able to offer the necessary IT infrastructure to attract the best tenants.
Security and compliance
As well as providing robust, scalable IT infrastructure for all your tenants, commercial landlords will also need to think about the challenges of security, privacy and compliance. Traditionally, tenants themselves were responsible for their IT security. However, some serviced offices already provide network security as part of their offer and this is likely to become a more common requirement in the future.
Businesses that rely heavily on Cloud services to run their operations cannot afford unexpected downtime. They need an ‘always-on’ Internet connection. This means a second redundant connection plus router and firewall capable of automatically switching from the primary to the backup connection without any noticeable interruption of service. To attract the best tenants, commercial landlords will have to be able to ensure IT resilience as part of their offer.
IT-Ready Office Solutions
Modern Networks IT-Ready Office Solutions offer secure, segregated IT networks, resilient broadband and telephony to office building and retail units of multiple occupancy. Our IT-Ready Office Solutions appeal to tenants who want digitally enabled workspaces where they can just switch on their laptops and start working. We also take care of shared tenant resources such as conference rooms and guest Wi-Fi. Other third party building services such as alarms, access control and lifts can be easily integrated into our IT infrastructure. Finally, Modern Networks UK Service Desk provides 24/7 tech support, remote systems monitoring and maintenance.
Modern Networks IT-Ready Office Solutions can help commercial landlords minimise costly voids in building occupancy, attract new tenants and maximise the value of their properties. Our secure, plug-and-play IT infrastructure means new tenants can move in quickly without any lengthy fit-out periods. Once on-board, tenants can easily access additional IT services as they grow and occupy more workspace. Some of the UK’s largest commercial landlords have already setup their own serviced office brands such as Landsec with Myo.
The traditional office of fixed workstations, partitions and small meeting rooms is fast disappearing. Today, digitally enabled workspaces are designed and built to facilitate new ways of working. To attract the best tenants, commercial landlords must provide high performance, resilient and secure IT services that businesses demand. Modern Networks IT-Ready Office Solutions are capable of transforming existing office buildings and retail units into attractive, flexible, digitally enabled workspaces.
To learn more about our IT-Ready Office Solutions for offices with multiple tenants, contact our sales department now.