According to a survey conducted by Avison Young at the Property Directors Forum in December 2017, the results of which were published recently, property directors are concerned that landlords’ lack of proactivity around commercial property innovation may hinder efforts to improve productivity levels among the UK workforce. At a time when productivity in the UK falls far short of that of our G7 counterparts, this could present substantial issues moving forward.

In order to compile the necessary data for the survey attendees at the event held at The Royal Society of Chemistry, Piccadilly, were asked to provide their thoughts on property innovation and the role that landlords play. Shockingly, the survey revealed that not one of the property directors questioned had been approached by their landlord to discuss the matter of property innovation; a worryingly-high proportion of 40% further indicated that their landlord was reluctant to innovate altogether.

The results do not however absolve property directors of all blame, on the contrary suggesting that they could in fact do more to lead innovation. This assertion is backed up by the 53% of property directors who admitted they have not yet approached their landlord to discuss commercial property innovation, and the 3% not looking to innovate at all.

Further highlighting the problem is the fact that as few as 7% of property directors believe that innovation is one of the company’s core objectives; meanwhile around 20% of organisations do not have a property innovation strategy in place, and 27% have failed to even secure a budget for innovation.

Jason Sibthorpe, Avison Young’s Principal and UK Managing Director, said of survey’s results, “What is prevalent from this survey is the importance of innovation and collaboration in moving the UK up the productivity league table. Property Directors are in agreement that property innovation must be prioritised in order to move the industry forward, as property will be expected to deliver more from less as the market toughens. Many Property Directors have implemented innovation initiatives in the last year, with sustainability and energy efficiency as a core focus. The innovation challenges exist in energy management, lighting and emergency lighting and metering and monitoring - these should be the focus of the following year’s innovation strategies.

“In order to move property innovation up the strategy list the benefits needs to be sold to boards, alongside cross-industry collaboration. Sharing best practice is key among the occupier community, to identify the best innovation and to access its benefits at a much quicker pace.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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