The Great Outdoors

On a cold, rainy day in the UK, it might be difficult to envisage working outside, but the psychological benefits of spending part of the working day outdoors are becoming well documented. One only has to look at how drinking outside pubs has become a preferred option, to understand how the same principle might be applied to offices. Barriers to the use of terraces typically include poor accessibility, uninspiring fit out (concrete pavers rather than gardens and bars), and building management issues (communal access, lack of ‘ownership’, H&S). However, I suspect that the biggest barrier is company culture and a stickiness to fixed desk settings. And so, as workspace practices shift towards activity-based working and as new top talent demands uniqueness in their working environment, might these spaces be currently undervalued? IPMS 3 obliges an agent to measure but note the space separately, whereas in practice it is rarely explicitly valued by either landlord or tenant, other than through an arcane addition to the headline rent. In global centres such as Manhattan, Toronto and Sydney rooftops are much better utilised. Are we missing a trick?