High Street Office, a company dedicated to setting up corporate satellite offices in local communities launched today. High Street Office helps businesses to embrace the benefits of a central office and a home working environment, as well as benefiting the wider community.
As restrictions ease and city offices begin to open for business, employers are being met with a barrage of requests to continue working from home, at least in part. An average city commute can waste over ten hours a week – time that employees have been able to give back to their families and their employers during lockdown, contributing significantly towards a rise in productivity and job satisfaction.
High Street Office’s model leverages the high vacancy rates in the high street to deliver cost effective local office hubs, tailored to a company’s changing workforce demographics. Research from RMIT’s Centre for Urban Renewal suggests that 97% of city populations (their research centered on Melbourne) live within a 2km walk of a suitable high street location, and numerous research studies suggest that more than two thirds of employees do not want to go back to an office based working arrangement.
Co-founder of High Street Office Tom Mitchell-Taverner believes that “for employers, the main objections to working from home are the lack of control over the environment and the loss of team cultures.” He goes on to say that “High Street Office was set up to provide a commercially viable solution to these issues, by furnishing and managing single-tenant offices in local suburbs.” Unlike a co-working space or a serviced office, High Street Office is not tied to predetermined central locations and gives business’ full autonomy over the space. Tom says that through their partnerships in the real estate and fit out industries they can fit out an entire single tenant bespoke office right where it is needed within a matter of weeks.
Employers control the environment says co-founder Darren Segal, “from super-fast internet through to retaining a company culture and providing a genuine office environment that fosters team building.” The founders also point out that a controlled environment also ensures that all legal, safety and ergonomic conditions are met – something that cannot be guaranteed with a home office.
Employees have the benefit of a much shorter commute, cycling or walking to work in many cases, plus the opportunities for camaraderie and progression within a company that an office environment provides.
The founders believe that High Street Office will not replace head office – companies will still need a base, but with fewer staff on site at any one time it will allow companies to reduce their expensive leasing commitments for their head office, potentially making substantial savings longer term. Tom says their customers are a mix of companies looking for a short-term solution to solve an immediate problem due to Covid-19 as well as companies with more long-term visions to foster changing workplace dynamics and wider cultural change.
High Street Office provides commercially viable solution that delivers a happy medium between a central office and home-based working environment. Co-founder Harry Free believes that “the workplace is changing along with community expectations around work-life balance. It is up to businesses to adapt to attract top talent and support a more diverse workforce.”
The founders believe that it is up to employers to adapt and re-imagine the office.
About High Street Office
High Street Office provides single tenant, turnkey office solutions in local neighbourhoods, for businesses looking to respond positively to changing work conditions and workforce demands. The business leverages low vacancy rates in high street shops and the increasing demand for home-based work arrangements to deliver locally based offices, on demand.