As the dust begins to settle and we move into a post-pandemic world, the effects of Covid 19 on the office market are starting to become clear. The headlines were damming of the sector and its purpose in the modern age, claiming ‘The Office is Dead’. The pandemic forced us to work from home, and in turn enlightened people to a different way of life, a life that provided balance. The lack of travel and rigid 9 to 5 working hours were removed and allowed people with the ability seamlessly to transition between work and home life. This new way of working seemed pleasing to most and began to fuel the possibility of the office becoming redundant.
Fast forward 15 months and the headlines reported could not be more different. The London office leasing market has remained resilient and is a focal point to businesses’ CRE strategies. The pandemic has altered the approach of occupiers’ decisions, which you could argue were traditionally centred around transport links & financials. Now it is apparent that quality (Grade A), sustainability (ESG credentials) and Wellness sit at the top of the checklist.
Headlines are reporting what is described as a ‘flight to quality’, as businesses are under pressure to provide workspaces to not only entice employees back to the office but to help enhance their well-being (something people were exposed to through working from home).
Sustainability has always been part of an occupier’s decision, however, prior to the pandemic, may have been down the pecking order behind alternative drivers. Businesses are facing increased scrutiny to lower their carbon output, of which their real estate holdings play a significant part.
In the UK alone, buildings and infrastructure account for 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. It is great to see this topic ranked so high on the agenda as the business community is collectively trying its best to help protect the environment for future generations.
Developers have had to react to the increasing demand for buildings which meet the new criteria. Across the board, there is greater consideration surrounding materials, construction methods and the use of renewable energy sources.
With COP 27 upon us, and world leaders providing the 'optics for change, progressive landlords are making discernible improvements to attain "carbon zero emissions across their portfolio."
On behalf of Derwent London, we are instructed to lease the office element of 206,000 sq ft within its newly developed 25 Baker Street mixed-use scheme totalling 267,000. This stunning development sits in the heart of Marylebone with an uncompromised focus and emphasis to achieve high ESG credentials.
We have no doubt that businesses will jump at the opportunity to make 25 Baker Street its new home, as Derwent has clearly reacted to a shift in occupier demands, creating a workplace of the future.
For further information, speak to any of the agency team at Ashwell London 020 7734 7766