Socius tells React News “it’s time for Grade A* office space”

As Socius and Patron Capital mark the completion of Brighton’s largest speculative office development for 25 years at Edward Street Quarter, managing director of Socius, Barry Jessup talks to React News about why we believe “the occupier experience should be at the heart of how we determine the best workplaces”.

Barry explains: “Part of the issue is that post-Covid the goalposts have moved and occupiers are thinking differently about their office space.

“The focus on quality was already emerging as a key factor in the “war for talent” but this has been heightened by the need to lure employees back into the office. It is now essential to create an office environment and offer that is demonstrably superior to the home office. This can encompass everything from collaboration, improved creativity, learning/teaching, culture growth, networking, socialising and technical support.

“An increasing number of businesses are chasing a limited number of best spaces, meaning that we are building up a chronic demand/supply imbalance. This isn’t limited to London; all major regional office markets are now badly undersupplied with best quality stock.

“As a step towards this we have already adopted grade A* as an easily understandable extension to the current grading system. Our view is that less than 5% of current grade A stock merits the addition of the star. In the same way that services form a vital part of securing a hotel 5* rating, we believe that office occupiers now expect more as well, in addition to the obvious top sustainability credentials.

“It is a very simplistic approach, and ultimately the sector will need a more thorough overhaul, but it is an easy way in the meantime of determining which assets are truly market-leading.”

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