Europe, UK, 15/05/2023


The world of commercial real estate is constantly changing, and today’s businesses have unique needs when it comes to office space. One trend that’s gaining popularity in the industry is “plug-and play-space,” but what is it? We’ve answered some of the questions around plug-and-play, like why it’s so popular, and why landlords should consider offering it in their buildings, with a particular emphasis on the importance of technology in delivering this type of space.

What is plug-and-play space?

Plug-and-play space is essentially a turnkey office space solution that is fully equipped with everything a business needs to operate. This includes everything from furniture and IT infrastructure to utilities and maintenance. Companies can rent out these spaces for a variety of uses, including as temporary office space during a renovation, as a satellite office for remote teams, or as a permanent office solution.

Why is plug-and-play space so popular?

The rise of plug-and-play space is due in large part to the changing nature of work. Businesses are more agile and flexible than ever before, and many require office space that accommodates their changing needs. Reasons why plug-and-play space is so popular includes:

It’s cost-effective: Plug-and-play space tends to be more cost-effective than renting a traditional office space. Plug-and-play space can be rented out on a short-term basis, which can be more affordable provides greater flexibility for businesses that don’t want to commit to a long-term lease. 

It’s convenient:  companies can move in and start working immediately, without having to worry about purchasing furniture, setting up utilities, or arranging for maintenance. This convenience can be especially appealing for businesses that are looking to expand quickly or that need to set up a temporary office space on short notice. 

It’s flexible: Because plug-and-play space is rented out on a shorter basis, companies can easily scale up or down as their needs change. This can be particularly helpful for businesses that are growing quickly or that have seasonal fluctuations in their staffing needs. 

The importance of technology in plug-and-play space

One key element that’s essential to providing a good plug-and-play experience is technology; an office can’t be flexible and fit for purpose without it. It’s important for landlords to offer robust infrastructure that can meet the needs of their tenants. Technology in a plug-and-play space needs to cover and consider:

Occupier onboarding: Landlords should be able to easily set up spaces and streamline occupier onboarding plus automate access to vital digital services at the push of a button. 

WiFi and wired networks: Occupiers need quick and easy access to secure wireless and wired network connectivity. Those running plug-and-play spaces should be empowered to set up network access for occupiers instantly or schedule for the future. You may also want to allow self-service through an occupier portal. 

Infrastructure management: The ability to manage network infrastructure, private networks and bandwidth allocation through a simple user interface that can be easily used by non-technical staff is key. 

Monitoring and insights: Provide valuable insights on network performance, bandwidth consumption and more. This is so those offering plug-and-play space can stay ahead of any issues and gain a deeper understanding of their operations. 

Research backs up the importance of technology to occupiers

In our recently published research 61% of office workers stated they were “left wanting more” from the technology they had access to in their buildings and only 11% felt that their office was technologically advanced enough to meet their needs. Consequently, 52% of office workers don’t believe the technology in their workspace enhances their ability to do a good job with the top offender being the state of a building’s connectivity – 69% of workers under 34 believe the state of their building’s Wi-Fi performance negatively impacts their productivity. You can download a full copy of the research here.

Why landlords should consider offering plug-and-play space

Given the popularity of plug-and-play space, it’s clear that there is a growing demand for flexible, fully equipped office spaces. For landlords who own office buildings, offering plug-and-play space can be a smart move for several reasons:

It can attract new tenants: By offering plug-and-play space, landlords can attract a range of businesses that are looking for flexible, turnkey office solutions. This can help to keep office buildings fully occupied and generate a steady stream of rental income. 

It can boost revenue: Plug-and-play space can be rented out on a short-term basis at premium rates, which can help to generate additional revenue for landlords. This can be especially beneficial for buildings that are located in areas with high demand for flexible office space. 

It can reduce vacancy rates: Traditional office leases can be a turn-off for businesses that are looking for flexibility. By offering plug-and-play space, landlords can reduce vacancy rates and ensure that their buildings are fully occupied, even during periods of economic uncertainty. 

It can improve tenant satisfaction: Providing high-quality plug-and-play space can help to improve tenant satisfaction and retention rates. Businesses that are happy with their office space are more likely to renew their leases, which can help to provide a stable source of income for landlords. 

Plug-and-play space is an attractive option for many businesses, and landlords who offer this type of office space can reap a range of benefits.

“With the system that essensys has provided us, it allows me to describe it as plug-and-play, and to promise that and deliver that. It’s as simple as it sounds, customer moves in, all they need to do is plug in Ethernet if they need it, and they’re ready to go.” – Chris Heyes, Customer & Community Coordinator at Bruntwood


Read about our partnership with Bruntwood here.

By providing fully equipped, flexible office spaces with fit-for-purpose infrastructure, landlords can attract new tenants, boost revenue, reduce vacancy rates, and improve tenant satisfaction. With the demand for plug-and-play space only set to grow, now is the time for landlords to consider incorporating this concept into their office buildings.

A helpful resource on delivering plug-and-play space

We’ve published this pocket guide to plug-and-play real estate which is a useful resource if you do offer or are considering offering plug-and-play space for customers. Copies are free and we won’t ask for your details.