Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

Is the Avon Gorge the new Silicon Valley?

Gone are the days of the workplace being filled with grey cubicles, executive offices and a temperamental tea machine. Occupiers in Bristol are now interested in how their offices can enhance the productivity, creativity and happiness of employees, as well as reflecting their company brand and identity.

Traditionally, concepts such as open-plan, communal space and external areas were firmly associated with tech, media and telecoms occupiers (TMT) such as Facebook and Google. However, in recent years these features have become more mainstream as the office becomes a hub for collaboration and designed to encourage the sharing of ideas often combined with a relaxed casual dress code.

Cycle storage provision and the need for comprehensive shower and changing facilities have raced up the ‘most desired’ list as the city becomes increasingly friendly to cyclists. As a result, the desire for car parking provision and proximity to the station have decreased in Bristol. We have also seen a distinct spike in occupiers seeking onsite gym facilities, cafés and restaurant facilities.

These changes in behaviour and mindset aren’t just affecting the layout of the office but are also impacting the requirements of a building’s specification. Bristol in particular is being influenced by an influx of TMT occupiers fuelled by the creative industries and surrounding universities which are thriving. This has boosted take-up levels and increased demand for new and interesting office interiors. There is less need for traditional features, such as suspended ceilings, vanilla plastered walls, raised access floors and intensive partitioning and there is an increased desire for informal break-out areas, outdoor terrace areas and exciting roof space.

Demand is more diverse than ever before, occupiers are still looking for traditional Grade A space but with add-ons such as co-working space or concierge facilities. These additions ensure that occupiers are in spaces that are set apart from others around them, and reflect the values of the business inside. It is this sense of identity and the importance of a happy workplace that has put office fit-out at the forefront of occupier’s minds.

Looking to the future, it is difficult to predict exactly what an office interior will look like but one thing is for certain, as the needs of workforces and generations change, they will be reflected by our office interiors.

Further information

Read more: Regional Office Market Report

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