The UK commercial property market is a dynamic and ever-evolving sector, with many businesses significantly changing their approach to the working environment they provide for their employees.

In recent years, several notable trends have emerged, influencing businesses real estate strategies and reshaping the landscape of the occupational real estate market.

Four significant trends that are increasingly influencing how businesses approach their real estate strategy and choose a preferred building when looking to relocate include sustainability, the approach to building management, wellbeing and building amenity.


This has become a top priority for businesses across various sectors, and the commercial property market is no exception. Investors and occupiers are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient buildings that align with their sustainability goals.

From green certifications including NABERS and EPCs, to renewable energy integration and efficient waste management systems, sustainable buildings are attracting significant attention and demand, particularly from corporate occupiers as they seek to meet internal ESG goals.

In response, developers and landlords are focusing on retrofitting existing properties and incorporating sustainable design principles into new developments, but in order to meet these best-in-class sustainability goals, a commitment from occupiers as to how they operate their space is also critical.

Building technology is improving the quality of the data available to owners and occupiers of real estate. Real time energy consumption figures can now be monitored, allowing the management of the buildings mechanical and electrical systems to be fine-tuned, with transparent reporting of information back to businesses on their personal consumption.

The management approach to office buildings – the rise of remote working and flexible schedules has led to a shift in how office spaces are utilised.

The ways office buildings are managed by the onsite and professional management team has evolved and the concept of ‘hotelisation’ of workspaces has gained traction. This is transforming traditional offices into multifunctional spaces that cater to the changing needs of employees. These spaces often offer blend the use of dedicated offices with other areas such as coworking areas, breakout lounges, collaborative spaces, and on-site services like cafes, gyms, and childcare facilities.

Occupiers are no longer satisfied with the traditional approach to a front of house reception acting as a form of security and client sign in facility. Instead, they expect the onsite team to help manage amenities on offer and curate a more vibrant and engaging environment, for their employees and clients.

OBI boss: Scaling tech firms now need sophisticated workspaces


The wellbeing of employees has taken centre stage in recent years, and it is now an integral consideration in commercial property design and management. Employers recognise the importance of creating environments that promote physical and mental health, productivity, and happiness.

Elements such as ample natural light, biophilic design, ergonomic workstations, and access to green spaces are being incorporated into office buildings. Additionally, landlords are investing in the development of onsite amenities like fitness areas and gyms, wellness rooms, and relaxation areas to support the wellbeing of tenants, and a calendar of events, socials and classes that promote mental and physical wellbeing. 


The demand for high-quality amenities within commercial properties has significantly increased. Businesses and their employees are seeking convenience and an enhanced work-life balance, prompting developers and landlords to seek to incorporate amenities that cater to these needs.

This includes the provision of cafes and coffee shops, communal spaces, meeting and presentation spaces, in buildings that are centrally located with good public transport connections. Campus developments that provide a mix of uses with commercial workspace that sits alongside cultural destinations and residential and hotel accommodation, have gained popularity, as they offer a wide range of amenities within close proximity to one another. Manchester has seen several successful campus schemes delivered in recent years, including Enterprise City, First Street and New Bailey.

Modern workspaces can’t afford to be boring

The UK commercial property market has, and continues to undergo, a transformation, driven by the aspirations of occupiers and the demands of their employees and clients.

Investors, developers, and landlords who understand and adapt to these trends stand to benefit by prioritising sustainability, creating flexible and engaging office spaces, promoting employee wellbeing, and offering desirable amenities.

The commercial property market can thrive in this new era, shaping the future of work environments in the UK and supporting businesses as they make this transition.

Will Lewis is the founding director of OBi Property

‘Fail, learn & have fun’: Zuto flourishes in cutting-edge space