The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic changed many industries permanently, and the commercial property industry is no different, having undergone a significant transformation.
From the rise of remote work to the repurposing of vacant properties, the dynamics of the market have shifted, demanding a fresh understanding of industry trends.
In this blog post, we will explore the evolving landscape of post-pandemic commercial property and delve into the trends that property owners and businesses need to navigate to thrive in this new era.
Adapting to A New Way of Life
Flexible Coworking Spaces
Gone are the days of being tied down to a single desk in a stuffy cubicle.
In today’s ever-evolving work landscape, the concept of a traditional office has transcended its boundaries. The demand for flexibility has soared, and commercial property owners have embraced this shift, guiding in a new era of dynamic workspaces for modern professionals.
From 2020 onwards, the attitude towards the way we work has shifted. It’s rare for businesses to demand their employees in the office every working day, and therefore the excess overheads for renting entire offices became an unnecessary and costly business expense. Instead, businesses have been placing their employees in coworking spaces, giving them the freedom and flexibility to work at home or in an office environment, whilst lowering company overheads.
With this, came the increasing demand for coworking offices…
In 2022 alone, the number of coworking spaces in the UK jumped by 22%, many of which were developed within empty, pre-existing commercial properties. Even with COVID restrictions almost nonexistent, this progressive model of working isn’t going anywhere and transforming empty properties into coworking spaces will continue thriving.
Repurposing and Adaptive Reuse
In recent years, a welcomed trend has emerged; one that breathes new life into forgotten spaces and sparks a sense of community. Welcome to the world of repurposing and adaptive reuse.
Visionary property owners are harnessing the transformative power of creativity to revitalise derelict properties into vibrant community hubs, and the possibilities are vast and inspiring.
Here are some examples that showcase the remarkable transformations and adaptive reuse projects taking place in a post-covid era:
- Abandoned warehouses into vibrant coworking spaces
- Former retail stores repurposed as e-commerce fulfilment centres
- Derelict factories converted into mixed-use developments, combining residential, commercial, and cultural spaces
- Unused office buildings reimagined as shared office and co-working spaces
- Vacant shopping malls revitalised as community centres, housing businesses, recreational facilities, and social spaces
- Historic theatres renovated into performing arts venues, hosting live shows and cultural events
- Decommissioned hospitals or medical facilities repurposed as wellness centres and specialist clinics
- Empty parking lots transformed into outdoor markets and food truck hubs
- Unused industrial sites turned into innovation hubs or incubators for startups and entrepreneurs
- Former schools and educational buildings were repurposed as community centres, offering classes, workshops, and recreational activities
- Derelict warehouses or abandoned banks transformed into commercial kitchens
Commercial kitchens, once limited to traditional restaurant settings, are being repurposed and adapted to meet the increasing demand for food delivery services. These larger kitchens now serve as central hubs for multiple food businesses, enabling them to prepare meals at scale and cater to the growing online food delivery market.
The transformation of derelict spaces into thriving commercial kitchen facilities has not only provided opportunities for food entrepreneurs but has also contributed to the culinary diversity and convenience of the community.
The power of repurposing and adaptive reuse lies not only in the physical transformation but also in imagination. Property owners, architects, and creatives push the boundaries of what’s possible, envisioning new possibilities for spaces that were once deemed obsolete. It’s a testament to the human spirit, the ability to see potential where others see abandonment and to breathe new life into forgotten corners of our cities.
Health and Safety Measures
In the aftermath of the pandemic, the importance of workplace health and safety has taken centre stage, and commercial properties have a wide array of measures to protect the well-being of occupants.
Step into a modern commercial property, where every detail has been meticulously designed with health and safety in mind. You’re greeted by touchless entry systems, enhanced cleaning protocols, advanced ventilation systems, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems and beyond.
But, health and safety extend beyond physical measures alone. Commercial properties are reimagining communal spaces to foster social distancing and create safe environments for interaction. Seating arrangements are thoughtfully spaced, and common areas are redesigned to accommodate the needs of occupants while minimising the risk of close contact.
In this new era, technology has become a loyal ally in safeguarding health and safety. From contactless temperature screening devices to occupancy monitoring systems, commercial properties harness the power of innovation to maintain a secure environment.
As we navigate the post-pandemic landscape, health and safety will continue to be at the forefront of commercial property trends, design and construction. The measures implemented today will shape the way we work, collaborate, and interact for years to come..
Sustainability and Green Initiatives
In a world increasingly concerned with environmental preservation, sustainability and green initiatives have emerged as key drivers in the post-pandemic property landscape. With a renewed focus on reducing carbon footprints and embracing eco-friendly practices, commercial properties are stepping up to the challenge of creating a greener future.
Imagine walking into a commercial property that is a shining example of sustainability.
The building’s foundation is rooted in environmentally conscious design, from energy-efficient materials and eco-friendly construction practices. From solar panels to rainwater harvesting systems, each element was designed to minimise impact. Step into the property and witness an intricate blend of aesthetics and sustainability, featuring natural light, LED fixtures, recycled, earthy materials and plenty of nature.
But sustainability is not just about the infrastructure—it’s a way of life within the commercial property;
- Waste management systems to promote recycling and reduce landfill waste
- Smart sensors monitor and preserve energy usage
- Water-saving fixtures
- Community gardens bloom on rooftops
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Cycle to work schemes to encourage cycling
- Using renewable energy providers
- Biodegradable and sustainable product suppliers
- Hosting workshops and seminars on sustainability
…the list goes on!
As we navigate this new dawn, sustainability and green initiatives must be at the core of commercial property, reflecting the growing awareness and commitment to environmental responsibility.
As we embrace the post-pandemic world, let us seize the potential that lies within the commercial property sector. Let us reimagine, reinvent, and reshape the spaces that shape us. The key trends we have explored are not mere concepts—they are the building blocks of a future where commercial properties become drivers of progress, agents of change, and pillars of thriving communities.
Together, let us pave the way for a new era in commercial property, where innovation and sustainability harmonise, where spaces inspire and transform, and where the possibilities are as limitless as our imagination. The future is waiting—let us write its story, one commercial property at a time.