Do property agents practice what they preach?
We certainly try! Carter Jonas has recently been on the hunt for new office space in a location and format that suits our professional service teams, which work across the commercial, rural, and planning and development sectors.
Office availability in Cambridge is at the lowest level it has been in recent years so it is just as well we are experts in this field.
When advising our clients, we follow a specific process to ensure that all our recommendations reflect the business and its employee’s requirements. Factors we review include current location, the type of business, speed of growth and what style of working suits the company.
We wouldn’t suggest that a broking firm adopts an agile working format as it would be an unfitting way for that sector to operate, similarly we wouldn’t recommend that a creative agency implements individual offices for all employees.
However, these are all considerations any business should make before deciding on a new location and office style.
As we have all seen, over the last few years, office layout and fit outs have changed dramatically and modern working practices are now adopted across a variety of sectors.
These formats include the very creative ‘Google styled’ offices with their slides, fake grass, and indoor phone boxes, as well as the more reserved agile working systems implemented by the more traditional businesses.
Many companies now require staff to hot desk around the office. Often this is because they aren’t all there at the same time and it means the business can lease a smaller space, saving on overheads.
However, it also provides the opportunity to reduce the desk numbers but include additional break-out areas for collaborative working or added facilities, such as a café, that might help them attract and retain talent. It is amazing how much draw food and drink can provide!
So do we follow the advice that we give our clients when looking to find a suitable office space for ourselves? Our team has rapidly expanded over the last five years, to the point where we needed to find larger accommodation to house our professional service teams, but also factor in space for our continued growth.
For us, adopting agile working makes sense. As surveyors and planners, we are always out and about seeing clients, viewing properties and attending industry events during the week, meaning that we can quite legitimately hot desk without too much issue.
We knew that we needed to stay in town for our clients but also our employees. Our industry is incredibly sociable and, unsurprisingly, so are the individuals that work for us.
Positioning our office in a vibrant location that offers opportunities for them to socialise after work, we knew, would only help us draw more talent and encourage our clients to visit us.
CB1 has provided us this opportunity, moving from quite a traditional office setting to exciting surroundings with a raft of shops and restaurants on our doorstep.
We are based in One Station Square, the newly developed building on Station Road, which provides a mixture of new, high-specification, modern office accommodation.
The open plan space encourages increased collaboration and interaction between our teams and, as a national agency with our head office in London, being next to Cambridge Station provides vital links for our employees to work from either location.
There is no denying the calibre of this office, which is complimented by the occupiers that have either already moved in or will do in the coming months. Deloitte and Amazon are two such occupiers, the latter of which has taken 60,000 sq ft. There is currently a considerable lack of available modern office space in Cambridge.
We knew this type of office was what the business needed and therefore we signed our lease before One Station Square was even completed.
Has it been an easy process? Not really! But because of our contacts and market knowledge we had the insight to find an office that serves to deliver us the type of space that our company needs and will continue to for many years from now.
We might be the experts but we definitely prefer it when the shoe is on the other foot!