People & Places

Modern office development increasingly involves providing more than ‘somewhere to work’. Changes in society, where rising generations have different requirements and expectations of the workplace, are combining with technological advances to bring about a revolution in the way office space is used. The rise of operators like the Office Group and WeWork underlines the strength of demand for new ways to occupy office space and this in turn is being fuelled by employers’ desire for flexibility and the need to attract and retain the best talent. 

It’s just 2 years since BCO published its ground-breaking report Building Performance – Rethinking the Relationship between Owners, Managers and Occupiers. The report set out a ten-point action plan to improve stakeholder relations and remove much of the friction that frustrates corporate occupiers.

While more and more forward-thinking landlords within the office industry are taking steps to implement the recommendations and therefore progress is being made, the reality, however, is that the notion that the ‘customer is king’ is still far from the experience of many occupiers. 

The latest BCO report
Customer Experience Revolution,Closing the Skills Gap published in  April 2019 focuses on the importance of service delivery and the need for introducing customer experience as part of the education and training of a new generation of professionals. The disruptive forces reshaping the way we work call for an equally disruptive response in the way we serve customers in the office industry. There is a wide and increasing skills gap in both the quality and quantity of talent able to deliver the customer experience expected by today’s corporate occupiers. The study provides the property industry with a roadmap for change.  Other industries have learned the hard way that failure to innovate and to follow the customer is a sure-fire way to attract the attention of the business disruptors – like Uber, eBay, Amazon, Airbnb, etc. The office industry is seeing new entrant disruptors transform the experience of the office worker and that is likely to continue.  There has never been a more apt time for our industry to get close to our customers – the price to pay for missing this opportunity is potentially great.

It is not too late for the office industry to respond. However, it is going to take insight and effort to bring about the change in culture required and for occupiers to truly feel like customers.

Access the BCO research page and download reports to read more on the future of workplace. Become a member, join the debate and help to shape the future of the industry