Adaptability? How to accommodate changing user preferences

Remøy, H. and D.J.M. Van der Voordt (2013)  Adaptability ? how to accommodate changing user preferences. In: Martens et. al. (eds) ERES 2013 Conference proceedings. Vienna, Vienna University of Technology.


Purpose When current accommodation is unsatisfactorily, office organisations consider relocating to new accommodation that optimally facilitate their main processes, supporting image and financial yield. However, due to high vacancy levels, public opinion and governmental awareness oppose new office construction. Reusing existing buildings could be the egg of Columbus. This paper aims at answering the questions: Which property characteristics are important push and pull factors for relocation? What does this mean for the decision: stay or go?

Design/methodology/approach Besides a literature review of factors determining organisations’ accommodation choices, interviews were held with large-scale office organisations and creative organisations, discussing relocation drivers. Henceforth, a survey was held among creative organisations, collecting data about property characteristics important for their preferences.

Findings Traditional push factors like car accessibility, extension need, and poor location and building image remain important. Sustainability issues like reducing energy consumption and better public transportation accessibility are highly prioritised pull factors. Regarding the creative industries, bike- and public transportation accessibility, multi-tenancy, and ICT and meeting facilities are most important.

Practical implications Knowing office users’ preferences is important to attract and retain stable tenants. If office space supply is highly aligned to end-users demands and easily adaptable to changing needs, probably more organisations will decide to stay instead of go, leaving behind empty offices.

Originality value This study combines data about push and pull factors with relocation decision-making, innovatively focussing on the creative industries. The data can be used to explore opportunities and risks of adaptive re-use of the existing building stock.

Keywords: offices, vacancy, user preferences, creative industries

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