We recently caught up with Greg Davison of Cushman & Wakefield, one of our joint letting agents at Quorum Park.
In this first instalment of our interview, Greg explains how Covid-19 is affecting the office sector and what’s coming up at Quorum over the next 12 months.
Tell me about what your job entails – what is an office agent?
We are involved in the day-to-day marketing of office floor space. However, the role extends to a much wider brief, including strategic occupier-based advice and guidance on trends affecting occupier needs, therefore impacting on refurbishment, market positioning etc. It is more than just advising on rental levels and incentives.
Our input at this level enables us to advise on the direction of Quorum Park, so for example, NEON was created based on the demand we were seeing in the market for a product with a more contemporary feel.
How have you been affected in recent weeks by Covid-19?
It is difficult to say we have not been affected. But the impact in terms of progress with lettings on Quorum Park has so far been limited to an understandable slowing of progress, but we are seeing the positive interest we had prior to the lockdown continue.
We are lucky with Quorum that there is a great on-site team who can arrange for vacant space to be opened up. So whilst we are understandably not seeing huge demand for viewings at the moment, we are able to facilitate those occupiers we are talking to by arranging access in order to maintain momentum and help them with what can often be time critical programmes.
Many people are currently working at home. What do you think traditional office environments offer that home-working cannot?
I think there will be two camps that emerge from this current situation. On one hand there will be businesses who will find that the enforced working from home scenarios work really well for some people within their business and they may in turn review their occupational needs.
However, there will be many who never want to work from home again!
As human beings, we thrive off interaction and perhaps a sense of belonging to a ‘tribe’ of some description, not in a traditional sense, but we do spend the majority of our waking hours with work colleagues. Working from home and communicating over online video platforms is not the same thing.
However, there is an argument that the current situation is not actually working from home in the truest sense; it is not normal to be doing your day job in a space that is part classroom, part your office and perhaps part someone else’s office.
I don’t see the office losing its importance, but I think we will come out of this with a different set of objectives as to what the office provides.
What makes Quorum Park such a good destination for office occupiers?
The overwhelming response we get from occupiers when they first come to Quorum Park is the appreciation of the public realm, the sense of community, and the added amenity and interaction between other employees on the park.
The buildings are of course integral to that, but on a functional level, you can argue that other locations offer the same basic building infrastructure.
The difference is in the sense of wellbeing and the image that Quorum Park presents, either to prospective employees, or to visiting customers.
What sort of space is currently available at Quorum and what is happening on the Park over the next 12 months?
The most notable change will probably be the re-brand of the park, which will make a strong visual impact.
In terms of the office space itself, Quorum Park continues to offer everything from 681 sq. ft at NEON, to 92,000 sq ft at Q12. Few other locations can offer such a broad range of accommodation and yet give every employee the same access to travel advice, events, rewards and amenities, no matter what end of that scale you happen to fit into.
We are working closely with the new owners to introduce a slicker app-based Q Card. We are looking at ways to increase car parking provision, and importantly, at how we can include EV charging into that infrastructure.
To contact Greg for more information on the office space currently available at Quorum Park, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org