Mic on Mondays | James Lowery - Colliers International | London

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  1. February 2018

  2. Mic on Mondays | James Lowery

    7 February 2018
    Mic on Monday is a new series by Colliers London, where we get to quiz the leaders of industries and companies we work with, collaborate with and admire.

    In this episode, we spoke to James Lowery, co-lead at Storey, about co-working spaces and workspace design.

    You can read the highlights of our chat below, or view the full interview on our YouTube Channel. For more episodes make sure you follow us on Instagram @Colliers_City.

    Storey is an initiative, providing flexible, productive and personalised spaces for small to medium businesses. As a service provided as part of British Land Plc, Storey is a progressive and original concept in the office market and speaking to James gives us a different take on commercial real estate.

    How do you fulfil the needs of a small to medium business?

    The target customer of Storey are companies and teams of 20 to 70 people who don’t necessarily have their own space. We have designed Storey to take away the pain of the day to day running of the space but still give that feeling of their own space which can reflect their own brand and their own culture.

    How do you tailor a workspace to a company’s culture and needs?

    There are lots of different components of a workspace. Therefore, for a company that may not be used to looking at the world of workspace it can be hard. Companies are either in a world of co-working where they’re sold desks, and a desk is good for doing part of what you do on a day to day basis but it’s certainly not the whole answer, or they're sold square feet and it’s hard to look at a box and work out what you need to do to get the best out of the space.

    We understand that different companies operate in different ways and help companies to achieve their workspace potential by speaking their language. We then have the capability to translate that potential into a reality. We hold a company’s hand through the process, as it’s a process that can sometimes distract a company of 20 people who don’t necessarily have a person responsible for managing workspace.

    How does Storey differ from other co-working spaces?

    We have found that about ¾ of our existing customers have grown up in a world of co-working but got to a certain size where they feel like they need their ‘own home’. However, when they start looking at the options in the market it starts getting complicated in terms of leases and time-frames. So everything we have designed means Storey sits between this world of co-working and the conventional office lease.

    Firstly, it means we have focused on private space, we have an element of shared, however the day-to-day meeting rooms sit within the companies own private space so its secure and branded in the company’s own way.

    It’s important to remember that a 20 – 70 people company is a really successful company, so they will be comfortable planning a year or 2 ahead. Therefore, it’s not necessary to have this hyper-flexible leasing conventional of co-working spaces, which can be expensive for the company if offered.

    How does Storey fit into British Land's bigger picture?

    I think that’s an exciting part of the Storey offer; British Land owns most of its office buildings in 3 campuses across London. However historically, we have these large buildings with great companies, but they get full. So by adding in Storey into the campuses, it embeds an element of flexibility. It allows companies that otherwise wouldn’t have access to these great buildings and companies, to plug in to the same infrastructure. So if a small company starts off in a Storey space like Appold Studios, they can move to another campus as they grow and their needs change.