In the age of digital marketing and pandemic restrictions, many businesses are focusing on the aesthetics of their online platforms as a primary means of promoting their brand, generating leads and impressing existing and prospective clients. Many businesses, however, are neglecting their most tangible, visible asset: their office. As many of us return permanently to the office after the monotony (or freedom, if you prefer) of our work-from-home setup, the importance of the office as a branding focal point has been amplified for many. With recent research demonstrating that carefully curated office spaces are paramount in recruiting new talent, and securing meaningful deals and partnerships, business owners should be funnelling their time, energy and investment into their physical spaces as well as their digital ones. The Centrick office team understand that your office is so much more than just an office: it’s your brand, your people, and their home from 9-5 – or 5-9 if you’re lucky. We’ve lined up a few points to consider if your office space is seeming neglected and in need of a change:
Many businesses have been forced to develop swiftly to hybrid working since the era of pre-COVID office working, and digital technology has enabled much of these accelerated changes. However, as the world resorts back to more traditional modes of doing business, many established firms and entrepreneurs are faced with the reality that their new, evolved brand is no longer represented by their office space. Small, intimate office spaces in regions with insignificant footfall may not represent the growth that your brand has made since lockdown, calling for a reconsideration of your company’s office location and how it channels your brand.
Relocating to a more city-based office not only makes business sense, with cities attracting more investment and demanding more attention and footfall, but can have an important impact on your brand and branding, especially for client and employee attraction. More commutable locations indicate that your brand is accessible and easy to reach for employees and clients: a recognisable office, or your logo proudly front and centre in the window of an office development or city hotspot, boldly indicates that you are open for business. A well-placed office in the hustle and bustle of a city is the ultimate means of demanding attention and optimising your presence.
WSP’s David Gooderham explained that “to justify its existence, the office will have to become a destination with a purpose”, and what better way to do so than making your office a reflection of your brand’s sense of community. Communal spaces in your office offer unrivalled opportunities for collaboration and can demonstrate to both employees and clients your core values of teamwork. Office amenities which inspire discussion and openness, such as open-plan terraces and gardens to spend your work breaks in, can contribute to a sense of ease whilst you collaborate with colleagues, and can increase levels of employee retention. With research indicating that employees that suffer from loneliness being twice as likely to quit their jobs, it’s important that offices provide enriching spaces where co-workers are encouraged to talk to and learn from their peers, which can instil a sense of belonging and trust within the wider company and thereby boost employee retention levels.
As owners, managers and entrepreneurs, its easy to forget the bonds and collaboration that are created and solidified by conversations in office kitchens and by the coffee machines, which are proving to be vital features when it comes to developing healthy relationships amongst co-workers. These are the interactions that simply cannot be replicated by Zoom or Teams, they enrich the workplace environment in a more far-reaching way, one that we have grown to appreciate since the enforced social distancing of lockdown. Communal areas where employees are encouraged to interact, teams are encouraged to cross-collaborate, and informal relationships are forged are vital for reinforcing professional collaboration and can help develop your brand’s reputation as a place for community and teamwork. Although we’re not encouraging all businesses to take the Google route and implement slides into your office (as fun as that sounds), creating an open and welcoming space undoubtedly makes your business a place your employees will want to work, and your clients will want to return to.
What about those companies that have maintained their work from home setup on a full or even part-time basis? Even Shopify, a digital company whose employees worked entirely remotely during the pandemic, have chosen to rework their physical spaces as a reflection of their new ‘remote-first’ working philosophy. Their rejuvenated offices now physically inscribe the mantra ‘thrive on change’ into their office décor, which has now become a representation of the brand’s ability to adapt quickly and forge new paths in the face of adversity. Employees and clients alike are made aware of the power of Shopify’s status as an e-commerce platform that can thrive from any location, and despite any challenge, making their offices a poignant expression of their brand’s values.
What’s interesting to note is that brands like Shopify, despite their commitment to digital are keenly aware of the power of their physical offices. Alex Tross, Commercial Director at Centrick Commercial told us that this is a growing trend among future thinking leaders and a core reason for choosing to work with more agile, progressive commercial teams like Centrick Commercial “Competition for great talent is at an all-time high and many of the businesses we work with across Office, Industrial and Retail are thinking much more strategically about what their commercial spaces need to deliver against their business objectives. Square footage and location are still of course fundamentals but what, why and how we use our spaces is changing to reflect aspirations, social and community building, collaborative working and even recruitment goals. Understanding what’s driving talent, demand and what will drive growth in the future should be paramount in delivering the right commercial space in a hybrid world.”
At Centrick Commercial we are proud to be different to the traditional players in the property world, we’re real people with a real understanding of the real problems that impact your business every day. We think about property in a different way to most agencies, not just as bricks and mortar but in the context of real commercial challenges. Our office team understand that an office is so much more than just an office, it’s your brand, your people and their home from 9-5 or 5-9 if you’re lucky.
Our industrial team know that a shed represents the growth of your business and foundations for your future and similarly our retail team know that a shop front is so much more than just a place to sell, it’s the start of your future. We’re your real business partners in property, if it matters to you then your property matters to us. We are Centrick Commercial and we’re on your side.
Whether you’re rapidly expanding into additional offices, or consolidating your business in a new location, we have the resources and expertise to maximise your growth in a space you love. For advice, RICS valuations, or to see our commercial units on offer, contact us using the form below:
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