Peter Folwell

The Office - still a good investment post COVID-19?

by Peter Folwell, Director - Plowman Craven

With the second major lockdown in place and control of COVID019 not markedly improving, is the death of the office really the case? Our Director, Peter Folwell, offers his thoughts...

The Office - still a good investment post COVID-19?

It seems an age since the daily commute to our office was the norm. Do I miss the congested motorways and crowded trains? Of course not, but the ‘death of the office’ is a message I have heard regularly throughout these COVID months. With the second major lockdown in place and control of the disease not markedly improving, is this really the case?

The requirement to work remotely from home has worked very well for Plowman Craven and its employees, not only in relation to the health of our staff but it proves that the remote systems and procedures put in place pre-COVID have worked astonishingly well and we take our hat’s off to our IT team. So, is there a need to return to the office?

The activity levels that Plowman Craven has experienced in relation to office transactions has materially slowed down since the start of the pandemic. The reasons may be many but a re-evaluation of the attractiveness of the office sector in these current times is at the forefront of the thinking.

Speaking to a number of our clients, they feel confident that this is not the death knell of the office as a prime investment, but different criteria may be a determinant of where investment is placed. They believe that to become a long-term attractive investment the office will need to adapt, and I am in no doubt it will.

Why is the need for office space still important?

Ultimately, it is important for Social Capital. It is a place where you socialise, share ideas, collaborate, mentor and educate. It has an influence on company culture - the values, behaviour and expectations. The office, as a location, also provides structure.

COVID-19 in the immediacy means that staff need to trust and feel safe in their environment. As people return to the office there will be a need to sustain floor space and size to accommodate future requirements of social distancing. The office design will also have to change and be re-assessed on an ongoing basis. Personnel space is very important.

Post-COVID-19, primary high value locations will still be sought after, but I believe that factors such as health, wellbeing and the role the office plays for a tenant, will become a more dominant factor in assessing the attractiveness of an office investment.

Peter Folwell

About the Author…

Peter Folwell, Director

A respected name in property measurement, Peter’s industry standing and strategic relationships with key clients has helped to establish Plowman Craven as a leading player in the fields of Area Referencing and BIM. Peter delivers consultative advice, workshops and presentations to real estate professionals and is established as one of the leading experts in the application of International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS).

01582 765566

You might also be interested in…

More from Peter Folwell…

Higher-Risk Residential Buildings: The need for accurate height measurement

All higher-risk residential buildings in the UK need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator before 1st October 2023 by the principal accountable person. So, what exactly determines a higher-risk building?…

Read Article

How technology revolutionised the world of surveying

As the full effect of the pandemic is starting to play out, businesses and industries are having to re-align to understand how they will approach the future. It is no surprise the use and reliance on technology has accelerated exponentially and ...…

Read Article

Are you maximising the floor area from your building design?

A consultation exercise can help clients to get more out of their floor areas and should provide a basis for how areas would be measured at practical completion. Director Peter Folwell explains how it can help to reduce the risk of any nasty surprises …

Read Article