The effect moves swiftly up the food chain as well. As tenants require ever more from their workspaces, so landlords and property developers must respond if they want their buildings let and to keep apace of demands.
We’ve seen this in a number of areas. A lot of creative companies can’t afford to be based in the West End, so employers must relocate further East. As far fewer people drive to work, basement car parks become cycle stores and shower facilities, or are sold off to become fitness studios and gyms. Now, being able to bring the dog to work or having childcare facilities at the office is bringing new demands on employers, and consequently on providers of workspace to meet these evolving requirements.
Last year we acquired space for the marketing agency 4Ps whose new office includes a crèche for its employees’ children and welcomes its workers to bring their dogs to the office. We also acquired space for Dogs Trust, where, somewhat unsurprisingly, many people take their dogs to work.
In London Fields, a new co-working building from Second Home really welcomes working parents into the fold: as well as an on-site crèche, there’ll be milk-warming facilities in the greenery-filled cafeteria and parking for buggies and scooters. Parents can pop into the nursery whenever they like, or be updated when their child goes to sleep, or be left in peace has crèche facilities alongside a number of socially interactive spaces, services and programmes.
The revamp of Sea Containers House on the South Bank was heavily based around social interaction and the building has a dog-friendly policy, while serviced office provider WeWork extends a warm welcome to pets at many of its locations.
While these new facilities and policies are mainly a feature of new buildings and workspaces, established buildings will need to update their offering in order to retain their existing occupants, attract new ones and to ensure rental levels don’t slide.
Even when we are out on viewings, it’s quite common for company directors to bring along their dog when looking at potential workspace. So having rooted itself into the culture modern creative enterprises, the practice of bringing home life to the workplace is clearly one that is here to stay.