As the BBC prepares to revamp two floors of its new Broadcasting House to make it more creative; what should TMT office space be like?
After all, the TMT sector is leading the style stakes when it comes to office space. The less conventional needs of this relatively new sector have even prompted developers to devise new office space concepts which boast everything from cycle parks to coworking space.
There is no doubt that is a hugely influential sector for the office space industry. Indeed, a recent report by DTZ and JLL revealed that TMT businesses accounted for the largest proportion of space take-up across the City of London last year. In total, the sector took 1m sq ft of space within the City – or 23% of all space taken, compared with 18% for tenants in the financial sector.
But what about the interiors of these offices? What should TMT space look like? Is it really that different from other types of office space?
Employees at the BBC seem to think so, if recent plans to revamp Broadcasting House are anything to go by. The decision has been taken to refurbish two floors of the building as creative staff didn’t feel that they were providing an inspiring enough working environment.
Plans for the refreshed space are to be based on an EastEnders theme, with features expected to include an Albert Square-styled hot-desking space, wall graphics in a street art style depicting EastEnders landmarks, and even a meeting room themed around the Queen Vic pub.
BBC bosses believe that the changes will provide a more effective working environment for employees, thereby enabling them to create high quality television programmes.
There will be plenty of sceptics questioning whether such heavily themed space is essential to employees’ ability to produce creative work – especially as the refurbishment of Broadcasting House was completed just eighteen months ago.
However, quirky, feature-filled offices have fast become the norm across the TMT sector, with many believing that such creatively designed space is a key factor for retaining staff. Themed offices are becomingly increasingly common – from Google’s London-themed HQ, to Innocent’s outdoorsy offices. The serviced office industry too has picked up on the trend, as these Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired offices in Waterloo demonstrate.
In fact, it could be said that slides, games rooms and highly styled space have become so common in the TMT sector that they’re expected among employees – whether they’re really necessary to boost their creativity or not. And as the BBC has discovered, insufficiently creative space leads to disgruntled staff.
Staff retention alone makes a strong business case for furnishing offices with colourful interiors, Lego sculptures and whatever else it takes to make a space appeal to TMT workers. As an added benefit, the column inches – and online news articles – dedicated to these unusual spaces makes them a powerful way to generate PR too – as well as making companies an even more attractive prospective for potential new recruits.
One thing is certain: as with the growth of the TMT sector itself, the trend for creative, unusual office space is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
Share your views: Should the BBC revamp its offices into a more creative, EastEnders-inspired space?
(Image: Alice in Wonderland themed business centre brings creativity to serviced office space.)