The business sector has long coordinated its tenancy requirements according to rank, and the property industry has respectfully conformed; major corporates and blue chips to the high rise floors of premium towers, and small businesses to the lower grades, lower rises and urban fringes.
It was a natural and obvious equation of affordability.
But as technology changes the way we work, where we work and when we work, the old logic doesn’t seem to make sense. As innovators innovate, so too do the providers of office space. For start-up enterprises no longer idealised as jeans-wearing coffee drinkers who high-five ideas over foosball tables there’s never been a better time to be in business.
The stereotypes of business, and the way the property industry traditionally responded to them, are changing. Start-ups aren’t just tee-shirted youngsters with million dollar ideas; they’re lawyers, financiers, medicos, business administrators, recruiters, fund managers, entrepreneurs and innovators. They’re people who need to connect to people, both across a table and around the world. They’re people who can’t afford for the family dog to interrupt an important teleconference while operating from a home office, or be unable to join a video conference because their shared-space ADSL is once again experiencing downtime or traffic overload. And they’re people who need an address of substance; a place to impress their stakeholders, collaborate with peers and build strategies over weeklong think tanks in spaces that make sense.
The home garage route is of course still available but far less attractive when considering the bounty on offer.