This isn’t the end of the office market – it’s the start of a new one
17th May 2021
Like many other cities, the Nottingham’s office market has been in a difficult place like many other cities for the past 12 months, with working practices and new mindsets having brought forward years’ worth of change in a noticeably short spell.
Decision-makers and employees agree that the office environment now plays a decisive role within the organisation of their company. The recent loosening and tightening of restrictions have shown the limits of remote working.
With the reopening of non-essential retail, gyms and hairdressers a few weeks ago, we have finally started to see some confidence and some semblance of normality returning to the office market.
The “new normal” of home working means that office space has to be re-imagined, providing attractive, welcoming, safe and interesting space to encourage workers to return. Landlords need to have the same attitude; embrace your existing or new tenants, collaborate, create brilliant working environments. Be flexible, listen and work with them. Office space must encourage safe, human contact for employees to collaborate, problem solve and evolve.
Covid-19 brought unprecedented challenges, home working and infrequent office visits didn’t maintain any sense of corporate culture. The elixir of being back in the office with colleagues cannot be replicated.
The office market isn’t obsolete, the old style of working is. This is why we need to repurpose space; pivoting to create more collaborative, dynamic areas and flexible office layouts to accommodate the new change. Landlords and tenants alike need to focus on how to reinvent the physical space, alongside the new mindset.
NG has seen significant improvement in enquiries since the start of April with deals being done on- and off-market, but the common factor is tenants want quality. Unloved, tired space will no longer satisfy. The worry is: a recent poll revealed a large percentage of corporate city centre occupiers want to leave or review existing spaces and look to downsize. Will the market be saturated at some point? Who knows?
Landlords and developers who are dialled in to this change of mindset will benefit. Those, who aren’t, will face obvious consequences. A great example of adapting space to accommodate the new office market is 30-34 Hounds Gate, where a front foot landlord took the opportunity to transform tired, 1980s space into 21st Century office with brilliant results. This calculated risk which has been successful, with 17,000 sq ft let to a single occupier, accounting for one of the largest Nottingham city centre office deals in 2020. Plans are in hand to complete the next phase of a further 10,000 sq ft. Repurposing the space has repositioned the building in the market and in the mind of occupiers.
Smaller spaces with bigger personalities are in an even stronger position to absorb the downsizing of large firms as well as embracing new ventures. We have space throughout the Lace Market, The Ropewalk and in other great city centre locations that do just this. Contact the NG team if you are looking for space, or unsure about your next move or future plans.
“This isn’t the end of the office market, it is the start of a new one”.