Commercial property: making good use of office space

Property is just as important in industry as it is to residential buyers

Property is just as important in industry as it is to residential buyers - Credit: Archant

Matthew Bowen writes from the commercial property department at Aitchison Raffety, St Albans.

With rents in central locations increasing and the level of availability of vacant offices reducing, a subsequent trend sees companies increasingly looking at how they occupy their existing space and how changes can affect not only the efficiency but the size of space they are looking for.

Taking our own office as an example we have digitised files where possible and switched to an external storage company for those we don’t need regularly. This has meant we have freed up an area which can now accommodate four desks which has given our offices a greater level of flexibility going forward.

We see this repeated with the companies that view premises with us where the storage element has reduced in importance. We have also continued to see the trend for ‘hot desking’ increasing, which allows multiple people to use a desk space when they are in the office. These are two methods utilised by firms but it is shaping the way we look at our buildings and with rents set to increase through 2016 the need to fit more people into the same size of space will continue.

We work closely with a number of space planners who are very useful to bring in early for firms looking to move and also to provide modern furniture which have reduced dimensions.

It’s an ever changing way to use space and it creates challenges and opportunities. As a firm we are not only doing this ourselves but assisting potential occupiers in this process.