The British Council for Offices (BCO) is set to reveal a refreshingly unique research paper next week in Cambridge, that rethinks how business can manage and charge for empty office space.
The forward-thinking research paper was led by office-space planning expert, Andrew Chapman – who is best known for his ‘office in a briefcase’ design, as well as co-researcher Jeremy Melvin.
Defined as ‘the space you need, for the time you need it’, the ‘space-time office’ research paper aims to cover multiple approaches now being taken to office life, including co-working and multi-location networking.
Findings from the research will be presented at a breakfast seminar at Carter Jonas, One Station on Wednesday, 31st July, to an audience of BCO members, local Cambrdige business leaders as well as representatives from the commercial property sector.
Owner and Director at Juniper Real Estate and Chairman of the BCO’s East Anglia sub-chapter, Mike Ayton (pictured, right), said: “With greater flexibility and agile working, we are no longer working 9 to 5 which means that offices can be underutilised much of the time. The work achieved in this research paper represents a significant step forward in the industry’s understanding of how to tackle the issue and turn these wasted spaces into something useful.
“Part of the thinking behind the ‘space-time office’ is that the future working environment should become more of a social asset than simply a commercial workspace. Technology and intelligent design could allow office space to be discounted, donated or even traded by owners, benefiting businesses and the wider community. A paper that proposes such bold ideas is certain to ignite much debate, and we look forward to its official launch to a Cambridge audience.”
Both BCO and Zurich Insurance have supported the research paper which proposes that the size of the square foot of the unit becomes a chargeable asset.
Supporters of the paper believe that this would mean that multiple users would be able to rent a single office, simply by charging a fee based on the cost per sq ft/hr.
Researchers Andrew & Jeremy found that this approach would work well for non-commercial users who need office space outside of conventional 9-5 office hours.