APAC, North America, Europe, UK, 18/04/2023


Over the last few years there has been a shift in the office market, where there is now a greater demand for flexibility. This may include having flexibility of lease terms, hybrid working patterns or the adaptability for a companies’ space to grow or shrink.

As flex office space grows in popularity so do the evolving expectations of tenants. They are demanding better, consistent connectivity and more seamless experiences to enhance their working environment and productivity. For landlords to remain relevant against the competition they need to adapt their offering to attract and retain tenants.

One flexible solution which has recently gained traction in the office market is plug-and-play.

We sat down with Alfie Baldwin, Business Development Director, and Alexandra McGregor, Global Head of Customer Success at essensys, who share their thoughts on plug-and-play and provide fundamental insights for those considering a flex offering.

What is meant by plug-and-play real estate?

Alfie Baldwin speaking on plug-and-play
Alfie Baldwin, Business Development Director at essensys

Alfie: Plug-and-play is a term used when the office, or an area within it is immediately occupiable. It is a hybrid between traditional CAT-A and co-work where occupiers pay a single, all-inclusive fee.

However, occupiers don’t need to procure their own services, enter lengthy contractual obligations with service providers or potentially even purchase their own furniture. It is ideal for those who have graduated from co-work and want their own identity in a location of their choice.

What can a plug-and-play asset look like?

Alexandra: Plug-and-play assets can take various forms, but they are generally move-in-ready spaces with services that tenants can occupy immediately, reducing time for both the landlords and the tenants.

They are customizable and flexible workspace options that can accommodate different occupier sizes and needs. This can include private offices, shared workspaces, meeting rooms, and other flexible spaces that cater to different types of occupiers and businesses.

Plug-and-play spaces often provide occupiers with tech-enabled meeting rooms and common areas that offer collaborative spaces for tenants in addition to access to on-demand services such as cleaning, maintenance and digital services.

Why should landlords utilise plug-and-play in their portfolio?

Alfie: It provides asset owners the ability to attract a much wider audience, those who would otherwise be restricted to only look at co-working options. Ultimately, it removes occupancy lead times and enables landlords to become cash generative quicker as they can fill vacancies faster by offering space that suits their tenant’s needs. Typically, tenants pay a premium for this service, after all, tenants have been paying a convenience premium for years.

Plug-and-play provides occupiers the perfect solution in the market. They can identify a building within their desired location and occupy it immediately, without the cumbersome wayleave process and be able to shape the space to suit their needs. Consequently, paying for what they need with total flexibility and without the premiums attached to per desk pricing.

How can you make plug-and-play happen in today’s modern world?

Alfie Baldwin speaking on plug-and-play
Alexandra McGregor, Head of Global Customer Success at essensys

Alexandra: Technology plays a vital role in providing a scalable and seamless plug-and-play experience to occupiers. This includes ready-to-go connectivity where landlords can quickly provide secure wireless and wired network connectivity to occupiers.

In addition, being able to easily set up spaces and on-board & off-board tenants instantly is key. With the right technology, landlords can deliver what customers need when they need it without requiring a technical team, saving time and resource.

Through technology, asset owners can streamline their operations where their on-site team can have instant access to digital services resulting in a faster reaction to occupier demands when it comes to on-demand adds, moves and changes.

Find out more by downloading our guide to plug-and-play here.