This week: conversions & podcasts

In workforce news, a Gallup study has explored what Gen Z and Millenials want from their employer and to be honest it’s not surprising – a focus on wellbeing, leaders who are ethical, open & transparent and a diverse and inclusive workforce. There are two angles to look at here. You can allow the workplace to evolve naturally or take action to address these areas. Over the last year there have been numerous companies highlighted where they have shown less focus on these areas (and not in a good way!). 

In development news, former Debenhams in Leeds is about to embark on some reinvention for a new future. For this former retail outlet the future is in flexible commercial space and student accommodation. For other former department stores they have/are being converted into incubator spaces, hospitality outlets with multiple F&B offerings or coworking spaces. The size of the units and access to transport networks means they are ideally positioned to seize some of the market opportunity for quality space. 

This week I’ve been listening to two interesting podcasts:

  1. The PropertyShe podcast (brilliant array of podcast guests from the world of design, development and further afield) with FORE Partnership Basil Demeroutis (Managing Partner). A business I have followed since I caught eyes on Windmill Green being repurposed in Manchester. You don’t start from scratch to produce a truly spectacular development. 
  1. Andrew Teacher in discussion with Mark Allen (Landsec – Chief Executive) – the world still has an interest in offices and corporate space. The focus has just changed and the relationship between landlord and customer have evolved dramatically. 

And finally some positives on the horizon is more contact with people (and I mean actual social contact). There is a questionable impact on people’s mental health at the moment and a factor of this is limited meeting people. A study has found, lockdown mental fatigue rapidly reversed by social contact. I think we all are looking forward to that BIG family get together or a summer party with work. A chance to get some social contact – proper social contact. The fatigue I feel is nowhere near as bad as others I talk to – I think working from home pre-lockdown helped BUT I cannot say that I need some mental release so to speak and face to face social contact.

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