Daily Digest News – July 22, 2020

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Hana Expands Its London Footprint

CBRE’s flexible office arm Hana has expanded its London footprint with two new locations.

This expansion marks the company’s second and third UK locations after first entering the market in September 2019.

Hana will take up 46,000 square feet from the second to fourth floors at the 70 St Mary Axe location in partnership with Nuveen Real Estate. The space is situated in London’s financial district and features private offices as well as numerous events.

The 245 Hammersmith space is located in a new 242,000 square foot mixed-use development that features retail, restaurants, an urban park and more. The space provides users access to a private roof terrace, private offices, coworking spaces and more.

“We are thrilled to continue to expand in London with these new locations,” said Paul Nellist, EMEA Managing Director at Hana. “London is a dynamic and ever-evolving city, and we’re looking forward to providing a range of workspace solutions for small-to-large enterprises and startups – delivering enhanced employee experiences.”

Adjusting To The Future Of Work

The pandemic has undoubtedly transformed the way people work and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The thought of working from home may have once seemed like a far-fetched arrangement, it has quickly become our reality and may even be the norm moving forward.

Despite this, some companies are resisting these changes and eager to return to pre-pandemic normalcy rather than recognize the advantages these arrangements have offered over the past few months.

It is clear now more than ever that more companies can operate remotely during these unprecedented circumstances. However, it is also important to evaluate how remote working impacts the workforce during normal circumstances.

For instance, business leaders should be mindful of when employees work better, whether that be in the morning or later in the afternoon. Having this understanding can make it easier for companies to adjust to a remote working arrangement and ensure that projects are completed more smoothly.

Additionally, keeping tight communication with workers can make or break a company’s efficiency. If a distributed workforce suffers from lack of communication, not only does their work suffer, but employees can experience feelings of isolation which can lead to mental health problems. An easy way to keep conversations flowing is to adopt messaging platforms such as Slack. Virtual meetings are also recommended, but leaders should be careful with how many Zoom meetings they host as it can actually be counterproductive to team management.

WeWork’s Office Space Availability Skyrockets

Coworking company WeWork has around 1.9 million square feet of office space in New York that is available, or will become available in the next few months. This makes up over 20% of the company’s total portfolio in the city.

Observers say that this is largely due to the company’s massive expansion over the past few years, as well as a slowdown in demand amid lockdowns.

“If people are already working from home, why would you spend the money on a WeWork location right now,” said Dennis Russ, Baker Hostetler real estate attorney. “Why spend it? It makes no sense.”

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Wellness And Remote Working Can Transform The Workplace

Companies all over the world are juggling how to meet the needs of the “new normal” which will involve balancing remote and on-site working, wellness and diversity.

These changes were anticipated by analysts and experts alike prior to 2020, but the pandemic has ushered in this transformation faster than anyone could have predicted.

Over the past few years, digitization adoption has improved both the employee and customer experience using artificial intelligence and other digital services that have all but taken over face-to-face interactions.

Additionally, companies had started exploring more flexible and remote working arrangements, but many retreated from these policies in place of large corporate centers and campuses.

So how does an organization approach short-term operation changes, while balance long-term business plans?

First, reevaluate the company’s business model and bring health and safety to the top of priority list. Then, consider how working remotely aids in helping employees’ health and productivity. Bringing both remote and in-office policies together in a way that meets your company’s business strategy will be essential moving forward.

Along with adopting flexibility in the workplace, businesses need to evaluate how well they support the overall mental well-being of their workers. Is their health insurance substantial for them to receive the necessary support? Is there an emphasis on empathy for those who are showing signs of depression, anxiety or any other mental health problems?

All of this considered and addressed, employees can feel safe and nurtured in their positions and are likely to feel more satisfied in their job

Tishman Speyer Expands Its Coworking Concept

Real estate company Tishman Speyer has expanded its coworking brand, Studio, into two Manhattan locations in wake of experts claiming that flexible offices will be in high demand in the coming months.

The two locations include a four floor, 110,000 square foot office at its Rockefeller Center building, as well as a 32,000 square foot space on Park Avenue.

“We have seen companies use it as their HQ as they grow, to enter a new market, expand their footprint in a market but with flexibility, current tenants that are retrofitting their offices to meet the newly established social distancing guidelines and temporarily require additional space, and also those considering a transition to a larger office footprint, looking for a mix of traditional and flexible terms,” said Thais Galli, a managing director at Tishman Speyer and the head of Studio.

Tishman Speyer has 167 million square feet of space in its portfolio and has been able to cut out the middleman with its Studio concept. It also has locations in Boston, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, London and more.

Although flexible workspace companies have been suffering throughout the pandemic, experts believe that many companies will turn to flexible, short-term leases in a post-pandemic world.

Suburban Offices Could Shape The Future

The vast adoption of remote working has highlighted the need for flexibility in the workplace in a post-pandemic world. Up until now, many flexible offices were located only in dense, highly populated cities, but now there is an uptick in demand for suburban workspaces.

According to Andrew Butterworth, commercial director at workspace developer Bruntwood Works, customer inquiries for the company’s properties in regional towns have increased.

Companies are now looking to adopt a hybrid approach that includes having a headquarters in major cities and smaller satellite offices closer to workers’ homes.

Jonny Rosenblatt, cofounder of flexible workspace platform Spacemade, added that the company’s new location in the Queen’s Park suburb of North London has been seeing rapid leasing activity since its opening at the beginning of July.

“I think the opportunity that exists now is for flexible providers to develop a product,” said Rosenblatt. “You need to be able to offer people a network of spaces because actually they’re not always going to come to that one individual office.”

Both Rosenblatt and Butterworth said that technology integration can aid in allowing clients to navigate where spaces are available at their various locations outside of major cities.

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