Today’s amenities mean business
they would forgo to reduce service charges. The least desired were wine cellars (84 per cent), a library (82 per cent) and a spa (80 per cent).
Much more popular were resident lounges and business suites. At the same time, the developer Berkeley Group reports that the most used facilities in their latest schemes – which include White City Living in west London and Goodman’s Fields in Aldgate – are the private cinemas and business lounges.
The rise of the business lounge in new developments coincides with advances in digital technology and the increasing number of remote workers in London. One in seven people now work from home, according to the Office for National Statistics, with London showing the greatest growth between 2005 and 2015, when the proportion rose from 12.2 per cent to 14.6 per cent.
When faced with the stress (and cost) of battling to get on a Northern Line train to the office every day, it is hardly surprising that the option of wandering downstairs to a cosy lounge is an attractive alternative. All are Wi-Fi enabled, and many of them have coffee on tap plus newspapers and great views.
“With many people now ‘flexi-working’ from home two or three days a week – and also many expected to work beyond the traditional nine-to-five day – business suites offer a professional environment to escape to,” says Tim Macpherson of agent Carter Jonas. “It’s a way of working from home, but not in your pyjamas.”
So, what else do these on-site business suites offer? With sofas, desks, screens, audio visual and teleconferencing facilities, they often include space to hire for delivering presenta- tions or after-work networking. Some have City boardroom-style meeting/ dining rooms, such as that at Barratt’s Nine Elms Point in south London (prices from £635,000). Other business suites, such as that at Landmark Place near Tower Bridge, also by Barratt, include catering facilities so you can organise drinks receptions for clients. Prices start from £860,000 for a onebedroom apartment.
Depending on the buyer demographic, business lounges might be designed to emulate a relaxed co-working culture that facilitates a cross-pollination of ideas, says Alex Greaves of
Mike and Sian Mellor, main, who have a flat in Mount Anvil’s Keybridge in Vauxhall; the lounge at the South Bank Tower, below and below right