Talent for Tall Buildings in 2022

A few years ago, I wrote a blog “Finding Talent for Tall Buildings”, on the eve of MRG starting the recruitment campaign for the senior leadership team for 22 Bishopsgate, the AXA IM asset managed tower in the heart of The City of London. JLL, the managing agents, had fully embraced the ambition of the building and wanted to undertake a different innovative approach to the recruitment of a buildings team.

That blog was published in October 2018, and crikey how things have changed since that time. Whilst 2018 was only a few years ago, we must accept the fact that Covid has altered the way that the vast majority of us use our office space. Just 4 years ago, working from home was a rarity for the majority, and our desk was our desk. Now, the hybrid ways of working are commonplace, with many businesses using Teams and Zoom for a large percentage of meetings and ultimately, what we want from our space is different. From an MRG perspective when I wrote the last piece, we had two established offices in London, and another in Manchester. These were, on reflection, average buildings, with no amenities and tied up in traditional leases. In comparison, today we utilise our WeWork membership extensively, not just across the UK but globally.

The drive for employees to return to the office has accelerated the idea of the occupiers as customers further to the front of our minds. Commercial buildings currently in the UK Real Estate pipeline are set to deliver 18.55 million sq ft of new office space expected to complete between 2022–2028, 41% of which is in the City of London – that’s a lot of office spaces to fill.

With the option of being able to work from home, many occupiers/tenants are weighing up reasons to use a space, enjoy it, and are seeking to get something out of it that they cannot get from the comfort of their own homes. Commuting to work has become a choice, not a necessity, for several days of the week. Shared amenity spaces in these buildings is becoming the norm; state of the art gyms, varied food courts, breakout areas, yoga/wellness studios are aplenty.

The biggest change for developers, however, is the ever-increasing rise of ESG initiatives. In 2018, RIBA published their ambitious 2030 Climate Challenge initiative, to help architects design within a climate conscious trajectory. The 2030 Climate Challenge provides a stepped approach towards reaching net zero. Today, every building is striving for more, and it is at the very forefront of not only the Investor/Developer but the managing agent, the occupiers, and their workforces, young and old. Buildings are being designed and built with net carbon targets in mind, but just as importantly they are operated and managed with sustainability at the heart of the asset. The likes of British Land’s Broadgate Estate, Argent’s Kings Cross, Battersea Power Station are also helping drive the ESG movement. 40 Leadenhall Street, the City’s next major building to PC, is at the forefront of sustainable workspaces, aiming to meet the highest standards of sustainability, wellbeing and environmental impact. Once complete, the building will be independently verified by SmartScore as one of the smartest buildings in the world and is set to smash a whole variety of environmental and sustainability records, whilst helping its occupiers reach their own ESG & carbon commitments. More of which can be found here.

Be it a tall building, a groundscraper or an Estate, the customer experience box has to be ticked now.  But Developers building to invest in a long-term income stream should have the ESG agenda at the forefront of their minds, because driving this agenda, using data and technology to better enhance how a building is run and managed, is the next major step forward.

We’re currently recruiting to find the talented team behind 40 Leadenhall Street.

Please get in touch with Matthew Evans to find out more.

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