Investec property and workplace specialists Giant Leap has launched FutureSpace, a high-end, flexible office-on-demand at 61 Katherine Street in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg. The office is intended to be more high-end than other flexible office space with tenants able to rent the space for varied amounts of time.

Linda Trim, director at Giant Leap, says the new 2,000m² office could be thought of as a mix between "a five-star business-class lounge and on-demand, sharing economy services, such as Uber and Airbnb". "FutureSpace is a fully fledged office with everything a business could want from high-speed, fibre wifi, concierge and support staff, to meeting rooms, video conferencing and barista coffee and food," she says.

Robin Magid, executive director of Investec Properties, says, "We plan to role out many more offices in the business centres of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town with Giant Leap — as well as creating an international presence starting in London. All will be in high-end locations and close to good transport links."

The offices will likely appeal to SA’s growing millennial workforce. Research by Deloitte consulting group has shown that millennials’ work demands are moving away from traditional office design.

Millennials, according to consulting group Deloitte, are those who born between 1982 and 2000, who grew up with PCs and are either in the early stages of their careers or going to start work in the next few years. As many as half of SA’s office workers are part of the millennial generation, says Jonathan Hall, marketing director at workplace design consultancy, Tower Bridge.

Hassan Shaikh, founder of Revolve, a specialist corporate and retail interior design group says office design can affect whether a company generates future business. This is true for small as well as medium-sized companies. "There is a direct correlation between how a potential new client perceives your offices and whether they want to do business with you," he said.

"Potential clients must want to spend money with you. If a run-down, out-dated office is the first impression potential clients have of your business, what is it saying about your business?," Shaikh said. "That its run-down and out-dated. You have to spend money to make money and the design of your office space is worth the investment."

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