Remote workforce impacting residential developments
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Developers are now including on-site co-working facilities in residential builds to accommodate the needs of the growing number of home-workers
As working life creeps into the domestic setting, developers are responding to the change in how people are using their homes and are introducing on-site co-working spaces into residential developments.
Elliot Tucker, Sales and Marketing Manager at high-end developer Londonewcastle, says although shared workspaces in domestic builds were an alien concept as recently as five years ago, on-site co-working facilities are now included in all the developer’s residential schemes going forward.
“Amenity space was always earmarked for a gym, coffee shop, lounge or cinema. Occasionally this would include a wellness space or yoga studio, but rarely a co-work space. However, with the rise of the gig economy, freelancers and flexible working, the need to be able to work from home, or not just in the office, has become ever more prevalent.”
Across the UK, 1.6 million people regularly worked from home in 2017, according to research by TUC. That’s one in every 16 workers, up from one in every 20 in 2005.
A separate survey conducted by communications provider PowWowNow, estimates that in 2017, 58 percent of workers were offered some kind of flexible arrangement. With remote working arrangements on the rise, many of the on-site amenities and services on offer rival the traditional work space.
Many residential co-working spaces come with libraries, coffee-shops for that vital hit of caffeine, and conference rooms with audiovisual set ups that can be booked in advance so freelancers can meet clients in a professional, quiet space.
In Hampstead, Buxmead on The Bishops Avenue provides its residents with a business centre, equipped with boardroom facilities, private offices and secretarial services.
Like other deluxe developments such as Lillie Square in Earls Court, it also boasts a residents lounge, catering facilities as well as a private dinning room, so that occupants can wine and dine important stakeholders.
With no office overheads, grinding commute or workplace distractions, Elliot belileves on-site work facilities provide for better productivity than the office.
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“A co-working space on the ground floor - or sometimes on the roof - means you can set yourself up easily and carry out a proper days work with reliable WiFi.”
Many high-end builds also offer bars, which stand to serve well-deserved knock offs as well as networking opportunities, between like-minded residents, blurring the division between home, work and play. In turn, this cultivates a sense of community between residents that is both professional and personal.
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“A happy side effect of co-work spaces is the cross-pollination of ideas between freelancers and home-workers not uncommon,” says Elliot.
“This means that the independent graphic artist might be able to provide a solution for the under-pressure account manager that otherwise wouldn’t have been on offer, and the tech startup with an off-the-wall app idea might not sound so outrageous to the investor who is taking a day out of the office.”
Other residential builds have incorporated the need for a multi-functional space into the actual design of the living space.
The Long and Waterson development in Shorditch offer ‘Plus’ apartments that feature moving floor to ceiling partitions, so occupants can physically alter their home, depending on the time of day and what they are using it for.
Elliot says: “Promoting flexible working and a good work-life balance can only be good things. Co-work spaces can provide a multitude of uses and are increasingly becoming vital in property development.”