Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 4th Quarter 2013

Latest trends in the London office property market

According to an October 2013 report published by Jones Lang Lasalle, the main characteristic of the London office market during the last quarter of the year has been accelerated rental growth. This has been especially evident in London’s West End and in the City. Prime office rental values in the West End and in the City evidence a quarter-on-quarter increase of nearly 4 per cent. This means that the London office market is now among the top five most expensive in Europe.

Quarter-on-quarter surveys show that the highest increase in rental values has taken place in properties located in Mayfair and St James’, where prices have reached £110 per square foot. Other significant increases have been observed in Soho, Covent Garden, Victoria, Noho, and Fitzrovia. The areas that have experienced the least dramatic increases are Shoreditch, Old Street, Canary Wharf, and Camden.

The largest transaction during this quarter involved a 430,000 square feet property near London Bridge.

The retail property market in London, Q4 2013

The London retail property market has bucked the nationwide trend during this quarter, as it has been characterised by rental growth and low vacancy rates. When compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, retail rental values are 5.7 per cent up.

Investment yields in prime locations have increased by 4.75 per cent, whereas in secondary locations they have grown by 6.25 per cent. However, during the fourth quarter of the year, rental value growth levels for retail floor space has decreased by 0.6 per cent. Continue reading “Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 4th Quarter 2013”

How to Keep your Office Healthy

How to Keep your Office Healthy LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonIf you run a business or are an office manager, chances are that one of your main concerns has to do with keeping up productivity levels so that your company can compete in the local economy. As you probably know, one of the most important factors affecting productivity is absenteeism. According to the most recent Absence and Workplace Health survey, workplace absenteeism costs the British economy a whopping £14 billion a year. Most of it is due to sickness, as research has shown that the average British employee takes up to four more times the amount of sick days off than workers in other developed countries.

Because the business implications of absenteeism due to poor health are so important for companies, it is only natural that business owners will want to prevent health issues among their employees as much as it is reasonably possible. This is particularly important during the winter season, when health problems rise substantially. In this article we offer some useful suggestions that can help you keep your office healthy and provide a better working environment for your staff.

How to achieve a healthy office environment

Keeping your workforce healthy cannot be achieved by simply targeting one factor. It is important that office managers and business owners have a holistic perspective of what can be done in this respect, as the health of your workforce depends on both physical and psychological elements. So what are some of the things that can be done to improve the physical environment of your office in order to make it healthier? Continue reading “How to Keep your Office Healthy”

The Most Interesting Office Conversions in London

The Most Interesting Office Conversions in London LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon

The Most Interesting Office Conversions in London

London isn’t a city that does things by halves. While there are plenty of contemporary and standard buildings about, there are plenty of unique office locations. In fact, some of the most interesting office conversions in the world can be found there. From historic buildings to air raid shelters, London features plenty of interesting office conversions.

The Kingsway Tunnels
London’s Kingsway Tunnels acted as air raid shelters during WWII. Located in the heart of Holborn, it is perfectly situated for the financial district. Despite this, thousands of people walk past the modest looking doorways without giving a second glance. Over the years, the Kingsway Tunnels have acted as a unique office location for over 200 BT employees at any one time. In 2009, BT announced that they were selling the tunnels, generating a flurry of interest from art galleries, retail stores, and more.

Nike Town in Oxford Street
The exterior of the buildings in Oxford Street haven’t changed since the Regency Era. When Nike came along to develop Nike Town, they revolutionised the inside of the building, but left the outside in tact. Indoors there are table legs formed from scaffolding, TVs on every wall, and branded sports equipment almost everywhere. This makes a refreshing change from the usual shops you find on Oxford Street, by plonking a high-tech office in their midst.

Broadgate Office Building
Broad Street station was a functioning tube stop off from 1865 to the mid 1980s. After being closed, the station stood derelict for more than a decade. Today, it acts as office space for artists and other workers. However, that isn’t the full story. As well as using the space that one housed commuters on their way to work, there are recycled underground carriages sitting on top of the building. From the outside, these carriages look as though they have been dumped there and grafitied. On the inside, there is a team of artists hard at work, making the most of the sustainable office space they got their hands on. Continue reading “The Most Interesting Office Conversions in London”

Office Christmas Party Ideas in London

Office Christmas Party Ideas in London LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonWith Christmas just around the corner, businesses across London are looking for ways to make their office parties interesting. If you want your business’ Christmas party to stand out, doing so is easy in London. However, you may need a little inspiration to get you started.

Greenwich Yacht Club
Greenwich Yacht Club stands on stilts in the middle of the Thames, giving it a unique ambiance for a Christmas party in London. Most of the building is made of glass, which means it is particularly beautiful when the snow starts to fall. With 2013 set to see some of the UK’s biggest snowfall yet, you are almost guaranteed to achieve this scenery. Both outdoor and indoor space is on offer.

Hampton Court Venue Hire for a Historic Theme
Hampton Court offers venue hire at the pricier end of the range, but it is a great destination if you want your office party to have a historic or refined feel to it. The venues range from an intimate King’s Room to the Great Hall, which is likely to impress international workers who buy into British heritage. Hampton Court only works with certain caterers, so bear that in mind when organising your event. If you do not see something you like at Hampton Court, check out the rest of the Historic Royal Palaces venues.

Art Gallery Christmas Party at the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery is not the only gallery for hire in London, but it is a good example of what you can get if an art gallery Christmas party does appeal to you. The Saatchi gallery comeswith 70,000 square feet of event space, and it is entirely flexible in terms of what you can do. As the exhibitions change around four times a year, there is plenty of scope for variety of you want to make this venue a regular feature. Art galleries are particularly well suited to those who want a contemporary theme. Continue reading “Office Christmas Party Ideas in London”

Six Unusual, Quirky and Unique Coffee Shops in London

Six Unusual, Quirky and Unique Coffee Shops in London LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonSome of London’s finest coffee shops

The heartland of theatre, dining, shopping, and nightlife, the City of London has more to offer than anywhere in the world. The home of unique, artisan coffee shops, exquisite afternoon tea arrangements, and quirky menus designed by talented chefs, makes London the place to stop for the ultimate coffee shop experience, after you’ve taken in your favourite tourist sites. For a taste of what’s on offer check out these six incredible coffee shops in London.

1. South Bank: Westminster Bridge – Brassierie Joel

Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge

Enjoy free live music, seasonal produce and a snack, on London’s trendy South Bank. The lounge and patisserie coffee shop attached to the brand new Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge, is home to celebrity chef Joel Antunes. Serving gorgeous afternoon teas and a view to die for, this perfect place overlooking the River Thames, is the place to go after viewing the art at the Tate Gallery, or going for a ride on the London Eye.

2. Marylebone: Near Oxford Circus – Villandry Charcuterie

170 Great Portland Street, Marylebone, W1W 5Q.

This delightful restaurant and Grand Cafe venue is also a food store, making it ideal to pick up a hamper to go picnicking in nearby Hyde park. Complete with several dining rooms, two cafes, including an outdoor tearoom, this stylish venue prides itself on sourcing the best produce from around the world. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to coffee heaven sipping deluxe beverages, and sampling the famous cake counter menu. Continue reading “Six Unusual, Quirky and Unique Coffee Shops in London”

The 4 Office Personality Types – The Geek

The 4 Office Personality Types - Office Geek LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon

Continued from the Four Office Personality Types: The Climber

The Geek is one of the most harmless personality types that you will come across in your workplace. There is a simple reason for this too: The Geek lives in his or her own world (although they would probably call it cloud, pun intended), and that world is far removed from the daily occurrences of the average office.

However, and as much as The Geek often goes unnoticed, you simply cannot fail to identify them. It is true that the geek stereotype includes large retro glasses and an absent-minded look, but don’t be fooled by the lack of 70s-inspired eyewear: you will recognise The Geek by its desk. The Geek’s desk looks different because it IS different: every single component and piece of equipment has been optimised and modified so that they are better (which in this case means geekier). The Geek tends to love his or her job (as long as there is a computer involved), so they try to make their work space as comfortable as possible. In a way, The Geek is a toned-down version of The Fussy Perfectionist, and they both seem to share a secret understanding and acceptance about each other’s quirks. Continue reading “The 4 Office Personality Types – The Geek”

Has the Royal Baby boosted the Economy?

Despite predictions of doom, prophecies of gloom, and the never-ending austerity anachronisms bandied about by the British media, the British economy has edged into recovery. This recovery has leading financial pundits grasping for explanations, including the possibility Royal Baby George is somehow responsible for pushing macro-economic pounds around the United Kingdom.

The mystical source of rising GDP in the Northern Hemisphere’s seventh largest economy, is rumoured to be due to a chunk of benevolent circumstances, which fall outside technocratic economic models. Think-tanks have been out-thunk by the birth of a magical boy baby, whose Midas-touch upon arrival, blessed the London Stock Exchange with trading certainty. In the month leading up to the Royal birth the FTSE index rose by 59 points – equalling the highest net-rise for the market in 2013. This can’t be coincidence.

Alongside one of the biggest baby booms seen in England since the birth of the previous Royal singleton, Prince William, in 1982, more than an explosion in the coffers of Mothercare has led to the economic recovery Britain is experiencing. The spirited flame containing Olympic Gold, lingering from the incredible successes of the 2012 London Olympics, must have been passed to new Prince George – if the price of gold is anything to go by. Commodity traders cleaned up on July 22nd, 2013, as the COMEX indice shot up to 1315 from a slump of 1200 at the month’s start. Pop those champagne corks now – there’s a new Royal baby in town! Continue reading “Has the Royal Baby boosted the Economy?”

The 4 Office Personality Types – The Climber

The 4 Office Personality Types - Office Climber LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon

Continued from the Four Office Personality Types: The Nice Guy/Girl

All we can say is may the various gods help you if you ever have to deal with this one (and chances are you will, as The Climber inhabits nearly every office). This office personality type can be scary and intimidating, and chances are that it’s not just your perception. The Climber gets noticed, whether he / she wants it or not. They probably don’t care anyway. On your first day at work, they were the ones who were probably too busy to greet you, and well, we hate being the bearer of bad news, but The Climber was most likely busy analysing whether your position was a threat to them in any way, and if it was, they were already plotting how to turn the tables in their favour.

Needless to say, The Climber is not particularly happy to work with other co-workers, unless working together gives him or her the opportunity to gather valuable information that can be used to go up higher and faster. There is yet another reason why The Climber is not precisely what you would call a collaborative member of staff: they just do not have the patience to put up with others. For The Climber, work is all about setting and reaching goals that will take them to the top. This means that Climber-type personalities are massively driven and ambitious, and they really push themselves hard. The vast majority of staff can simply not keep up with their pace, so less ambitious co-workers are perceived as a hassle by The Climber.

One thing you need to know is that you must brace yourself when dealing with The Climber. Often, he or she will make sarcastic or blunt comments, and you only really have two options: either ignore them, or sink into depression. The Climber is the natural enemy of The Nice Guy / Girl, and after reading about both personality types we are sure that you can easily see why. Continue reading “The 4 Office Personality Types – The Climber”

The 4 Office Personality Types – The Nice Guy/Girl

The 4 Office Personality Types - The Nice Guy/Girl LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondon

Continued from the Four Office Personality Types: The Fussy Perfectionist.

The Nice Guy or Girl is simply … well, nice! He or she is the one that welcomed you first when you started to work for the company, and who volunteered to show you around and tried to make you feel comfortable. You can spot the Nice Guy or Nice Girl a mile away, as their office desks are often decorated with pictures of peaceful landscapes and friendly family pictures. They might also be into yoga, massage, reiki, and every single alternative therapy that you know of (and some others that you don’t know of too). Nothing will make the Nice Guy or Girl happier than you accepting their invitation to join them in a yoga class. Seriously.

The Nice Guy or Girl speaks softly and tends to be an introvert, even though they talk to and try to get along with pretty much everyone. And here’s the thing: in most cases, the Nice Guy or Girl does not really want to do that, but he or she feels that they MUST. Nice Guys / Girls have a problem with conflict, and they will do absolutely everything that there is in their hands to avoid it. If that means being nice to co-workers whom they actually really hate, then so be it. What this means is that it is really difficult to get to know the real Nice Guy or Girl, as they are basically and essentially people pleasers. Continue reading “The 4 Office Personality Types – The Nice Guy/Girl”

Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 3rd Quarter 2013

According to the latest research data, during the third quarter of 2013 the commercial property market in the British capital continued to show signs of growth. These signs began to be evident earlier in the year, and in line with the forecasts, the market has continued to stabilise between the months of July and September.

Across all sectors take up figures have been on the rise, but particularly in the retail and office markets. With nearly 3 million square feet being taken up during this quarter, the availability of Grade A commercial space in London has recently hit a ten-year low. Following a period of generalised slowdown in economic activity caused by the recession, it finally seems that the commercial property market is on its definitive way to recovery. The positive signs are particularly striking when compared to the same period during 2012, as in the year to date take up figures for commercial property in London are 42 per cent higher than last year.

Despite the positive outlook, investors and occupiers remain cautious, and this has been reflected in the value of prime rents, which remain stable across the commercial property market in the capital. Other market indicators that are worth mentioning include the increased vacancy rates and supply indexes in the West End. This, along with low occupier demand and a very low volume of projects under construction, suggest that there is a clear preference for properties in The City and Docklands areas.

Key trends in the London office property market

During the third quarter of 2013, approximately 75 per cent of all the properties taken up were classified as office space were based in The City. The properties in this area of London continue to be favoured by firms who are looking to upgrade their office accommodation, despite the high cost of prime rents when compared to other parts of the capital. Continue reading “Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 3rd Quarter 2013”