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Attract and Keep Office Tenants in London

The UK office vacancy rate has risen, indicating weaker demand with increasing emphasis on quality over quantity. However, this general statistic conceals a more nuanced situation in major cities, particularly London, where premium office space is in high demand and sometimes commanding record rents. 

Conversely, occupier and investor demand for secondary stock or second-tier space (less appealing office space) is much less robust. Prime London offices have experienced positive net absorption during the pandemic, while lower-quality spaces have suffered negatively.

Several underlying factors make prime office space more likely to rent quickly and allow tenants or occupiers to extend the tenancies for longer periods. The focus is securing appealing spaces and amenities to engage staff and encourage them back into the office. 

These offices must appeal to all stakeholders by being welcoming and suitable to build client relationships. In addition, environmental, social, and governance considerations play a role in decision-making as companies, clients, and investors are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint.

New data from the Office for National Statistics shows that hybrid working is firmly set across the country, with nearly 3 in 10 people working in a mixed format across the UK on average.

The demand for appealing office space is being registered across all the UK’s major cities, specifically London. The increase in demand is often accompanied by occupiers who want more bang for their buck in terms of facilities and will only accept office space with modern amenities and an up-to-date infrastructure.

As companies readjust to changing working practices, looking for space with the best amenities and green credentials is increasingly at the top of an occupant’s wish list.

London Old Street Office refurbishment Fit Out West End EC1,EC2,EC3,EC4,E1,WC1,WC2,W1,N1 SE1 September- 5

Old Street, London

How to influence London office occupancy levels 

Volatility has hit the UK office investments as occupancy levels hit their lowest level in a decade in the later part of 2022 and into 2023 as political upheaval and worldwide unrest created economic uncertainty and a disconnect between landlord and tenant/occupier expectations. 

However, as Cluttons (commercial real estate agents) recently reported, some landlords have devised ingenious but cost-effective ways to attract and keep tenants. Commercial office owners are increasing their offer to tenants, particularly in Grade A buildings in London, from rent-free periods, office refurbishments, facility upgrades, and flexible lease lengths. Across other parts of the UK, however, prime office rents have climbed slowly since 2020 by a modest 3%.

There are practical ways a landlord can attract and keep new tenants that will appeal to stakeholder’s environmental, social, and governance considerations.

Practical ways a landlord can attract and keep new commercial tenants 

  1. Smart Office Buildings: London

Offering ‘smart’ buildings with advanced technology and automation can effectively attract tenants. Smart buildings have systems that monitor and adjust building usage to provide occupants with a comfortable environment while improving the business property’s overall cost-efficiency and energy performance.

By adding intelligent features to an existing building or choosing innovative building practices for new construction, tenants can have greater control and understanding of their space. Smart buildings usually have fibre optic infrastructure, automated sub-metering systems, real-time occupancy tracking, and energy consumption benchmarking.

  1. Invest in a Quality CAT A Fit Out 

If you’re starting from scratch, then a quality CAT A fit-out (CAT A is an operational fit out that provides you with a finished space ready to move into) is essential to create a visually appealing and professional interior for attracting commercial tenants. 

You can incorporate your ‘smart’ features into the fit out before you move on to a CAT B finish. A Cat B fit-out combines all the office design elements to create a functional workplace with planting, flooring, and furniture.

A well-designed and professionally finished office space can positively impact employee happiness and well-being. Moreover, If you start with a well-thought-out initial fit out, any changes made after that will not deter from the structure or initial shell of the office space.

  1. Reconfigure Your Floor Plan with Clever Design Features

The size and configuration of your floor plan will attract tenants. A large floor plan allows for a flexible and agile working environment, but it’s only sometimes possible to create an open plan feel in an office space that may require privacy.

There are several ways to offer a large floor plan that adapts to fit the tenant’s requirements.

  • Office glass partitions
  • Modern partitions
  • Bookcase dividers
  • Mobile whiteboards
  • Workstation privacy screens  

It makes sense to ensure your floor plan aligns with the type of business you are trying to attract. It makes even better sense to offer adaptability to growing organisations.

  1. Sustainability and recyclability  

Sustainability increasingly drives market demands, so builders and architects must incorporate sustainable solutions and materials into their designs. Sustainability helps reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and provides cost savings in the long run by reducing energy consumption. We can create eco-friendly and economically viable buildings with the right approach, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Implementing sustainability and recyclability measures can positively impact operating costs and the property lifecycle, which is increasingly becoming a priority for tenants.

Independent London Sustainable Office Refit Refurbishment fit out Independent Contractors

How investment in downtime is helping tenants up-take

Making break spaces a priority when you refurbish your office space will provide an environment where tenants can take a break from their work and recharge their batteries. Investing in downtime makes tenants more likely to be productive when they return to work, resulting in better business outcomes. 

Furthermore, providing spaces for relaxation and socialising can foster a sense of community and collaboration among tenants, ultimately leading to a more enjoyable and fulfilling work experience.

It’s also true that when prospective employees visit an employer’s office, the environment can help create a positive first impression of the company. A well-designed office space with breakout spaces can demonstrate that the company values its employees’ well-being and fosters a positive work culture. 

Something as simple as a well-thought-out breakout space can be a factor for potential employees when choosing between job opportunities. In addition, a well-designed office space can also help to retain current employees, who are more likely to stay with a company that invests in an enjoyable work environment and considers all aspects of their employee’s welfare.

Why you should encourage your employees to shower at work

Encouraging employees to shower at work is a great way to promote an active lifestyle and improve their well-being. When you invest in upgraded bathroom facilities that include showering amenities, you give your employees the option to cycle or walk to work instead of driving or taking public transportation. 

Better facilities reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint and improve employee health and overall view of the work environment. Showering at work also saves time for employees who may have to rush to get ready in the morning and can help them feel refreshed and energised for the day ahead. Investing in workplace shower facilities is a win-win for the organisation and its employees.

Changes in legislation that affect office buildings in London

Starting April 1st this year, commercial buildings and offices with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating lower than E will not be allowed. The Government has mandated that the rating increase to C in 2027 and B in 2030. Failure to comply with the new EPC regulations will result in a penalty of approximately 12.5% of the property’s rateable value. 

For commercial real estate owners, this could mean a loss of almost £2.5bn in rental income if their building’s EPC rating is not improved. By April, approximately 120m sq ft of commercial real estate in England will have failing EPCs, according to EG’s Radius data. 

Landlords must proactively upgrade the EPC ratings of their buildings across the UK this year to allow properties to remain leased and prepare for the more challenging legislative updates in 2027 and 2030.

One way to comply is by installing Power Data and Office Lighting. We know that light is the most crucial aspect of any office or workspace; However, natural light is best where possible; installing Power Data Office Lighting is also an effective way to save energy and improve your EPC rating. 

Office Refurbishment Contractors London Silicone Roundabout Glass Partitions Green Living Walls Sustainable (1)

About Power Data and Office Lighting

It’s possible to improve your office lighting with environmentally friendly LED lighting that can switch from bright white to warmer tones. These energy-efficient solutions are becoming increasingly affordable and can be easily installed in suspended ceilings, transforming any office environment. 

With LED technology’s advancements, you can boost your EPC rating and save money on your power bills and maintenance requirements, as LED fittings typically last up to 50,000 hours. 

As your business grows, consider upgrading your power and data infrastructure to support your evolving needs. Use technology advancements by installing power-saving media walls in your boardroom. Consider projectors on the ceiling for presentations or training, and always think of ‘smart’ solutions to help save time and money.

The importance of forward-thinking when refurbishing your London office space 

When refurbishing your London office space, it is essential to take a forward-thinking approach to ensure that your office investment will continue to meet your needs for years to come. As your business evolves and expands, so too will your office requirements. By planning ahead and incorporating flexible design and technology solutions into your refurbishment plan, you can avoid the need for costly and disruptive renovations in the future. 

Additionally, forward-thinking refurbishment can help improve employee productivity and satisfaction by creating a modern, collaborative, and comfortable work environment. This can also enhance your brand image and attract top talent to your organisation. Ultimately, investing in a forward-thinking refurbishment strategy can help future-proof your office space and ensure that it remains a productive and inspiring hub for your business for years.

Why you should stay local when choosing an office refit contractor in London

When refurbishing your office space in central London, choosing a local contractor with a proven track record in the area is crucial. Central London presents unique challenges and requirements that only a well-versed local contractor can handle. Local knowledge includes:

  • Navigating the complex planning and building regulations.
  • Dealing with limited access and restricted working hours.
  • Managing the logistics of working in a densely populated and busy urban environment. 

Choosing a local contractor also ensures that you have a team familiar with the local suppliers, tradespeople, and subcontractors and can source high-quality materials and products at competitive prices. In addition, a local contractor can provide valuable insights into the area’s latest design and technology trends and help you create a workspace tailored to your specific needs and budget. 

Working with a reputable and experienced local contractor can help ensure your office refurbishment project is completed to a high standard.

About Initial Interiors 

At Initial Interiors, we understand that every office refurb project in London is unique, so we work closely with our clients to develop bespoke solutions that meet specific needs and budgets. Our experienced team of tradespeople, project managers, and designers is dedicated to delivering projects on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards. 

Are you looking for a dependable commercial office fit-out and refurbishment contractor in London? Look no further than Initial Interiors! With two decades of experience in the industry, we pride ourselves on delivering top-quality service at competitive rates.

We provide free-cost quotations for projects of any size, whether minor works or a complete refurbishment of your existing or new office space. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 020 8938 3893 to discuss your project with our dependable team of experts.

Look at our 7-week London office fit-out case study for our track record. See how we overcame challenges and delivered a satisfying outcome for our client. Let us bring the same dedication and excellence to your next office fit-out or refurbishment project.

Our contractors meet all the necessary criteria. With their extensive experience, top-notch expertise, and sterling reputation, you can expect excellent communication while remaining competitive on price. We cover London’s West End, including the following postcode areas: EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, E1, WC1, WC2, W1, N1, and SE1.



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