Just Launched! The Future of the TMT Workplace Report

By James Maddock, Head of Global Occupier Services, EMEA

The future of TMTFrictionless growth, engineered serendipity and the ‘gig’ economy were all on the agenda at Cushman & Wakefield’s launch of its Future of the TMT Workplace report.

The report – which outlines key future property trends for Technology, Media and Telecoms businesses – includes the views of key decision makers from some of the highest-profile global Fortune 500 organizations, world-leading architects, designers, founders of start-ups and high-growth businesses.

Produced in association with Unwork, the report identifies five key forces driving change and necessitating TMT players to fundamentally rethink their workplace strategies. These include the pace of technological change, demand for top technological talent far outstripping supply and where to locate in order to succeed.

After an introduction from Richard Golding, head of Cushman & Wakefield’s TMT sector group, a panel of expert speakers debated the findings of the report. All agreed that workplaces have a critical role in enabling TMT companies to respond to these challenges. Firstly there is the need to attract tech workers who, knowing they are in demand, are often not looking for permanent jobs but for interesting ‘gigs’ in interesting places, both in terms of the work environment and its location.

Flexibility was a recurring theme – both in terms of workspace design but also the property industry itself, which is often too inflexible according to Juliette Morgan, Head of Property at Tech City UK and member of the Pi Labs team, Europe’s first prop tech accelerator launched by Cushman & Wakefield and Spire Ventures in 2015.

“Startups pay large security deposits unless using coworking space – property industry frustrates tech industry,” said Juliette Morgan.

According to Sarah Lodge, Senior Real Estate and Workplace Manager at Yahoo, this wasn’t just a problem for start-ups but was something her own company had encountered:

Paul Lee, Head of Research for technology, media, and telecommunications at Deloitte, said that connectivity would affect how we interact. Within the next five years gigabit connections will become more commonplace, however predicting how that would affect the tech we will require in five years’ time is almost impossible to call.

Architect David Lewis of NBBJ explained that these factors favored a basic box design with minimal internal walls that provides the flexibility to be repurposed as needed and as technologies and ways of working evolve. Engineering multiple spaces that facilitate different work activities is key for TMT companies, and he predicted increased use of apps that allow workers and visitors to a building to book the type of space suited to the type of work they will be doing that day.

On that point, Philip Ross, CEO of Unwork, highlighted the role ‘engineered serendipity’ has to play in helping TMT players rapidly develop products and services. By designing workspaces that encourage workers to interact in a meaningful way it is possible to drive innovation and stay ahead of the competition.

To learn more about The Future of the Technology, Media and Telecoms Workplace, download the full report here.

james maddockJames has more than 20 years of commercial property experience and works closely with companies to align their real estate strategy with their business objectives. He is responsible for the EMEA team’s account management of the full range of Cushman & Wakefield’s technical and consultancy services for global clients ranging from strategic, advisory, and transactional through to project management. In 2014 James co-authored with Unwork, a major piece of research, interviewing 49 banks across the globe and creating some predictions on the Future of the Financial Workplace.

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