Right here, right now, London is experiencing the third industrial revolution. Technology is revolutionising the way in which we work, forever freeing professionals from the shackles of their desks to work in coffee shops, airports and homes across the country.
This creates an enormous freedom for the modern professional to decide how, when and where they will do their job. But this also presents a challenge to today's property industry: work has become an activity which is done to complete a task rather than a place which you go to complete a task, uncoupling the huge growth which London is experiencing from an additional need for office space.
A new report by Ramidus Consulting, written for the City of London Corporation and the City Property Association "Future Workstyles and Future Workplaces in the City of London", shows how London's offices can be adapted to this new reality - and the opportunities to provide the new generation of professionals with offices which help meet their most crucial needs: flexibility, connectivity and space to meet.
Start ups no longer need to be office based, but accelerators and flexible serviced office space provide invaluable support by allowing entrepreneurs to turn up, rent a desk or graduate to renting a room on an ad-hoc basis. This provides opportunities for knowledge sharing, mentoring, collaborating and socialising which are crucial to the long-term success of their organisation. Meeting spaces have also changed from rows of desks broken up by imposing offices, to flexible space that enables collaboration and open conversation with smaller meeting rooms for necessarily private conversations.
To attract and retain the best staff, market leading companies need to offer their staff the same opportunities to maximise productivity - and in London companies have been quick to recognise the opportunities this will bring, with 75% of the City's office space rebuilt or refurbished since the mid-1980s, the last time there was a major change of need within the City.
The space between the buildings is also increasingly important in the eyes of workers and residents, and the City has been working hard to ensure that our new buildings include cycle parking, green walls and green roofs, and public spaces either on the roof or the ground level to enable the meeting and conversation that make the Square Mile such an incubator for success.
This is an exciting time for London's businesses and workers - being freed from the shackles of our desks enables us all to work more productively and flexibly on the crucial aspects of our jobs while reducing the number of rote tasks we are required to do. The property industry has the opportunity to maintain London's role as the world leader in commercial property; our new report contains practical steps to help developers make this happen but the evidence from the City's new buildings around us shows that this mindset has already taken hold. We are already building the offices of tomorrow, ready to meet the needs of the workers of tomorrow.