Times They Are A-Changin' We Are Changing the Way We Live and Work and Our Workplaces Need to Reflect That. FERGUS TRIM Says That Edge of Town Business Parks Need to Reinvent Themselves

Article excerpt

Byline: FERGUS TRIM

HE workplace is changing.

TNew technologies and attitudes to work are making corporate occupiers look carefully at their current locations, what it says about them as a business and their ongoing need to attract and retain the best new talent.

There has been a lot of research undertaken on the psychology of the workplace and the influence of the different generations within it. The changing influence and demands of Generation X (defined as 34 to 46 year olds) and the Millennials (18 to 33 year olds) mean that businesses are changing the way they work.

Generation X are increasingly the decision makers, running businesses and looking to attract and recruit more Millennials. These are workers who identify less with the nine to five routine and have grown up with mobile technology, social media and a blurring of the distinction between work and leisure time.

This has given rise to a more flexible commuting pattern and hours of work, together with higher demands for amenity and quality of life. Both home and mobile working are becoming an increasing part of the routine.

This does not mean, however, the end of the office as we know it. While new technology enables flexible working practices, the concept of work retains a strong social component for most people. The office remains important for collaboration, teamwork and corporate branding.

Forging relationships and networks through an organisation and working through new ideas face to face can't be achieved working remotely. The talent that wants to work from home on a Friday also wants their own desk, and are happy to put in the long hours in the office when necessary. The most important thing to them is being judged on results rather than the time clocked in.

Home working is seen as a one or two days a week activity while the office is just as important for the creative, social and collaboration aspects of working life. Essentially the young workforce want it all, access to smart and accessible offices, the banter within their team and the social side of the office community, while not being chained to the desk.

This environment needs to go beyond the building itself. Just as important is access to amenities, bars and restaurants, offering open space, adequate car parking and being part of a business community or cluster which can be either in or out of a city core. …