Check out our 2021 Commercial Leasing Review here

Despite the long talked about shifts toward working from home (and this may be a solution for some companies) we have found that the majority of our applicants prefer a more hybrid way of working, with many companies missing the camaraderie, collaborative thinking, and opportunities for mentoring which an office provides.
We have continued to produce fantastic results for our clients despite the knock-on effects of the 2021 lockdown. Across the year we saw increased viewings both virtually and physically with many occupiers tipping the lid on pent up demand. There were sharp rises in offers and completed lettings heading into 2021 and we saw quarterly increases on all letting metrics until the final quarter of 2021, which was dominated by the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
We have noticed several changes within the property market which have had a profound effect on office leasing. Some businesses are prioritising higher quality Grade A space that comes fully furnished and with a number of amenities. This is due to the increased focus on wellness and wellbeing throughout society which is translating to employer obligation when attracting employees back to the office. Amenities such as bike racks, showers, roof terraces/garden and break out space for example are the buzz words on everyone’s lips.
We have also seen greater flexibility from landlords on the kind of lease terms being granted. This is a clear reflection of the uncertainty in the market. Shorter leases taken by occupiers are allowing them time to consider their outlook. Often landlords are offering terms of 12-24 months in order to avoid empty and service charge voids with an increase in the amount of popup office and retail space.

Environmental concerns and the climate impact of office space is yet another factor which has increased in importance since the start of the pandemic. Far more office occupiers are looking at both energy efficiency and the access to green space when taking up office. CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility, is now at the forefront of company’s thinking.
Landlords are taking unique approaches to commercial space in order to minimise a building’s carbon footprint but also integrate the natural world.
Plantworks in Kings Cross is the perfect BREEAM rated example of where our client has looked to minimise the building’s impact on the environment but maximise its integration with nature.
A UK first, the Plantworks incorporates an urban plantation of over 7,000 plants that is designed to spur increased productivity of up to 15%.

Given the accelerated demand for online shopping during the pandemic, there have also been a number of changes to the bricks and mortar retail market. Focus has manifested toward much larger experiential retail.
Many companies open a flagship to advertise their brand and create an experience which endears them to consumers. There has, as a result, been an increase in the number of popup shops with landlords looking to minimize the impact of void periods and the payment of empty rates.
Our team transacted on a wide range of property types including medical units, industrial units, retail assets, and office space. In addition, we also transacted in a variety of locations including Fitzrovia, Soho, Primrose Hill, Kensington, Marylebone, Camden, Bloomsbury, and Notting Hill. We are very confident we will build on these successes in 2022 as the market continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you are looking to let your commercial space or would like to find your perfect office, please contact a member of our team.

Check out our 2021 Commercial Leasing Review here

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