Re-thinking the post-Covid office space

Real Estate Research Centre welcomes Co-Founder of Huckletree to discuss the evolution of commercial offices in a post-pandemic world

The Business School (formerly Cass) was joined by Andrew Lynch, Co-Founder of creative co-working space Huckletree, for the latest in a monthly series of Real Estate Research Centre virtual webinars.

Mr Lynch, a Business School (formerly Cass) alumnus (MSc in Real Estate Investment, 2012), discussed increasing demands on workplace specifications in both pre- and post-Covid times, with wellness, networking spaces and above all flexibility in increasing demand from tenants.

“Despite what has happened over the last 12 months, the traditional office isn’t going away just yet,” Mr Lynch said.

“When workers feel it is safe to do so, shared working spaces will continue to be popular but with added requirements.

“The challenge that organisations like ourselves face is creating Covid-secure, yet aesthetically pleasing units that are fully functional for the 21st century employer.

“The pandemic has opened up remote working as a concept to many organisations for the first time, and this – along with the economic squeeze – presents added pressure of demand for flexibility rather than commitment.

“While this points to hotdesking as a viable alternative for the permanent office, growing businesses do not want to pay for more than they need, so providers must package their services in a smart enough way that both landlords and tenants can make the most of their space.

“Games rooms and peloton bikes are all fine if there’s enough of the working week spent in shared space, but ultimately comfort, ambience, functionality and cost come first when employees are spending relatively short periods of time together.”

Alex Moss, Director of the Real Estate Research Centre and Course Director of the MSc in Finance programme at the Business School said he was delighted to welcome Mr Lynch to speak on such a pertinent topic.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome back successful alumni to address key issues,” Mr Moss said.

“The future of the office as we hopefully head towards post-pandemic times is a big topic of discussion across several disciplines at the moment, especially in real estate.

“Increased flexibility and hybrid working patterns could be seen as a challenge for landlords, but also an opportunity to re-model their space to changing needs.

“It was very interesting to hear Mr Lynch’s thoughts from inside the sector.”

The Real Estate Research Centre webinar series aims to shed light on pertinent issues within the industry with professional guest speakers and topical discussions.

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