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Sugar Ape

Working in an office

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16 minutes ago, Sugar Ape said:

Long term you’re absolutely correct but short term, and that is all politicians are arsed about let’s be honest, it’s going to cause chaos. Don’t think there is much they can do apart from roll with it though and try and minimise the damage. 
 

I wouldn’t want to be one of those companies you see popping up all over the place building luxury office space that’s for sure. 

 

Half the offices in this city seem to be empty already.

 

I don't know but I imagine it's a similar scam to what you see with retail spaces, because shopping malls typically have loads of empty units too. You'd think the solution was obvious - reduce rents - but if they reduce rents, this has a knock-on effect on the book value of the asset, and therefore on the pension funds who own a lot of these places.

 

Overvaluation of commercial premises is a house of cards waiting to fall.

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47 minutes ago, Stront19m Dog™ said:

 

Half the offices in this city seem to be empty already.

 

I don't know but I imagine it's a similar scam to what you see with retail spaces, because shopping malls typically have loads of empty units too. You'd think the solution was obvious - reduce rents - but if they reduce rents, this has a knock-on effect on the book value of the asset, and therefore on the pension funds who own a lot of these places.

 

Overvaluation of commercial premises is a house of cards waiting to fall.

Yes, commercial premises are going to be hit hard by this. Public transport is a ticking time bomb too if the Government stop bailing it out as they have been recently. 

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6 hours ago, Stront19m Dog™ said:

 

Half the offices in this city seem to be empty already.

 

I don't know but I imagine it's a similar scam to what you see with retail spaces, because shopping malls typically have loads of empty units too. You'd think the solution was obvious - reduce rents - but if they reduce rents, this has a knock-on effect on the book value of the asset, and therefore on the pension funds who own a lot of these places.

 

Overvaluation of commercial premises is a house of cards waiting to fall.

Your right in that there is a lot of office space empty but this city isn't alone in that.  One of the problems in Liverpool pre pandemic was there was a lack of grade A offices and the city struggled to attract the big blue chip businesses because of it.

 

An upgrade started on the office block the company I work for own early last year to try and drag it into the 21st century. As I mentioned previously, pre pandemic we were around 80/90% let. Not any more. I'd say it's now somewhere between 30/40% let and it's only going to get worse.

 

I had a meeting last week with one of our sales team to evaluate all the empty units and what can be done to generate interest. The only realistic option is to slash the rents but that doesn't really work as the running costs of the building stay as they are and only ever go up and as you say, it depreciates the value of the asset. The only other option is to change the usage of the building from offices to accommodation which in turn needs more money throwing at it.

 

Then as you also mentioned, the knock on effect to those pension funds and other investment funds. M&G who are an investment company suspended withdrawals from it's fund last year as there was a clamour of investors wanting their money back. M&G were frantically trying to sell off retail and office properties in order to raise funds to pay out investors. I'm sure it's still suspended. Problem is, who the fuck is in the market for a load of empty office blocks and retail space ? 

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I was told a few weeks ago by my manager that I’d be working from home until September. We get a two week rota by email - today I’ve just got the two weeks up until 4th September and I’m still working from home up until the 4th.
Once winter comes round I definitely want to be at home still, The amount of coughing in the office was horrendous last year.

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10 minutes ago, suzy said:

I was told a few weeks ago by my manager that I’d be working from home until September. We get a two week rota by email - today I’ve just got the two weeks up until 4th September and I’m still working from home up until the 4th.
Once winter comes round I definitely want to be at home still, The amount of coughing in the office was horrendous last year.

The whole of December last year people were dropping likes flies in my office, everyone was sick. It was like a pandemic before THE pandemic. 

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It's an absolute ballache.

Me and the other half both work in (different) offices but been working from home since lockdown. 

I have not (yet) been asked to return to the office and it doesn't appear likely in the near-mid future.

Other half has now been asked to return to the office for three days a week, and no other apparent reason than just "because" even though they've all been more productive from home.  

There's been no consultation, this has not been presented as a choice, and no consideration of people's circumstances, and it puts us in a really difficult position.  

I help look after vulnerable family members (mainly shopping and taking to regular hospital appointments) who are still doing their best to shield, but now their health and mine are going to be completely undermined because of this. 

Wtf are we (people) meant to do?

I could move in with said family members but would need to take the car for appointments which would force OH into public transport, which itself is a risk. Or I could stop supporting vulnerable family members so as not to put them at risk from me (but that risk would end up coming from someone else). 

And all because they want people in the office for no apparent good reason.  It's really pissed me off.

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On 17/08/2020 at 21:03, stringvest said:

I've relocated my face to face meetings to the Swan in Walton-on-Thames.  Apart from that, working from home suits me just fine.  

Oh they used to have a lovely lunch menu at The Swan, but I'm going back 25 years.

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On 17/08/2020 at 11:59, Stront19m Dog™ said:

It's a stupid argument anyway, because people will just spend their money on other stuff, won't they. Abandoning horses for the internal combustion engine was a devastating blow for blacksmiths, but mechanics did pretty well out of it. Similarly, expensive sandwich shops might suffer, but other businesses will benefit. The whole idea of a free market is that it responds to changing trends like this.

A balanced, well thought out post. I never knew you had it in you. Well, I did but impressed nonetheless to see it.

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On 17/08/2020 at 12:47, Stront19m Dog™ said:

 

Half the offices in this city seem to be empty already.

 

I don't know but I imagine it's a similar scam to what you see with retail spaces, because shopping malls typically have loads of empty units too. You'd think the solution was obvious - reduce rents - but if they reduce rents, this has a knock-on effect on the book value of the asset, and therefore on the pension funds who own a lot of these places.

 

Overvaluation of commercial premises is a house of cards waiting to fall.

Stronts has swallowed the common sense pill.

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On 17/08/2020 at 19:37, Dougie Do'ins said:

Your right in that there is a lot of office space empty but this city isn't alone in that.  One of the problems in Liverpool pre pandemic was there was a lack of grade A offices and the city struggled to attract the big blue chip businesses because of it.

 

An upgrade started on the office block the company I work for own early last year to try and drag it into the 21st century. As I mentioned previously, pre pandemic we were around 80/90% let. Not any more. I'd say it's now somewhere between 30/40% let and it's only going to get worse.

 

I had a meeting last week with one of our sales team to evaluate all the empty units and what can be done to generate interest. The only realistic option is to slash the rents but that doesn't really work as the running costs of the building stay as they are and only ever go up and as you say, it depreciates the value of the asset. The only other option is to change the usage of the building from offices to accommodation which in turn needs more money throwing at it.

 

Then as you also mentioned, the knock on effect to those pension funds and other investment funds. M&G who are an investment company suspended withdrawals from it's fund last year as there was a clamour of investors wanting their money back. M&G were frantically trying to sell off retail and office properties in order to raise funds to pay out investors. I'm sure it's still suspended. Problem is, who the fuck is in the market for a load of empty office blocks and retail space ? 

Here's a question mate, As I have also wondered often enough why we don't get more blue chip clients. Is it just about enough grade A offices or is it also a out enough grade a office space in one location, combined with some type of community? I've always felt it's as much to do with the lack of large amounts of available space, which in turn maybe prevents the start of a community plays a significant part. I always felt had that original Liverpool waters scheme have happened and we as a city had targeted a particular vertical (like finance, oil and gas or maybe pharma) we could have built something significant and brought major investment. There just seemed to me little or no appetite from the council to try and sell us as anything but a tourist town. 

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On 17/08/2020 at 12:00, mattyq said:

City of London will be fucked badly

As will a lot of local authorities that tax office space 

Everything is going to change

I've travelled down to London a few times since the pandemic and done a little work with some clients, mostly around the city and Shoreditch. When I first went, I was genuinely shocked by how deserted the city was, but I was there Monday and Tuesday this week and it was noticeably different to my previous 2 trips (they were both in July). There seems to be a bit of a sense a lot of people plan to come back September once the kids are back, but I know of companies that have told their staff they don't need to come back this year if they don't want to. And I know of people who are saying they don't mind the idea of getting back to work, but don't want to use TFL services. Equally I'm aware of several instances were roles are being off-shored as it's been seen they don't need to be in high cost locations. I think the next 6 months is crucial to the city of London and quite probably most business districts up and down the country. 

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On 19/08/2020 at 21:56, The Gaul said:

Here's a question mate, As I have also wondered often enough why we don't get more blue chip clients. Is it just about enough grade A offices or is it also a out enough grade a office space in one location, combined with some type of community? I've always felt it's as much to do with the lack of large amounts of available space, which in turn maybe prevents the start of a community plays a significant part. I always felt had that original Liverpool waters scheme have happened and we as a city had targeted a particular vertical (like finance, oil and gas or maybe pharma) we could have built something significant and brought major investment. There just seemed to me little or no appetite from the council to try and sell us as anything but a tourist town. 

I'd say it's a combination of all three. If you think about it, Old Hall Street and Tithebarn streets are great locations. Train Station (Moorfields) on their door step and also withing walking distance to Lime Street. Plenty of bars, shops and places selling food. It's only a 5 minute walk to Castle and Church Streets and Liverpool one and the waterfront.

 

Anyway, these are a few years old now but will answer you better than me rambling on.

 

 https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/liverpool-office-rents-bottom-uk-11651056

 

 https://www.business-live.co.uk/commercial-property/liverpool-office-market-review-reveals-17855248

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11 minutes ago, Sugar Ape said:

This is the latest line they’re taking. Sentient egg Toby Young was saying the same thing the other day.  
 

 

Tice is CEO of the property asset management group Quidnet Capital LLP...

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Our place sent round a questionnaire last week, which was apparently to assess the work from home model. It turned out to be a not very well disguised attempt to determine if we would accept less money to continue to working from home.

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18 minutes ago, Mudface said:

Tice is CEO of the property asset management group Quidnet Capital LLP...

Of course. They’re all at it. Almost worth it to see this reply to this sack of shit. 
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Sugar Ape said:

Of course. They’re all at it. Almost worth it to see this reply to this sack of shit. 
 

 

Wonder where that waste of skin wrote his shill article?

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3 hours ago, John102 said:

Our place sent round a questionnaire last week, which was apparently to assess the work from home model. It turned out to be a not very well disguised attempt to determine if we would accept less money to continue to working from home.

Make no mistake about this, if we continue to work from home, it won't be for the financial betterment of the workers. Either pay will be cut, there'll be tax or we'll see off-shoring. Tax isn't for the benefit of business, so I'm assuming it's the least likely. What's for sure is the majority of people won't stay at home earning what they do today. It may not even be initial pay cuts, it'll be no pay rises in the guise of "it's a tough economy and you no longer need to pay to come to work", but it'll chip away year on year. 

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If people do start working from home just be prepared for even bigger divide in the have and have not as likely millions who work in support roles don't have a job anymore and the money needed for benefits goes through the roof as there will be no work about. 

 

Public transport, catering firms and their suppliers, cleaners, facilities staff, security, etc etc will all go down the shitter. 

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I'm not so sure that the decreases in pay wouldn't be made up in the medium- and long-term by flexibility in where you can live.

 

I know some of you are city-dwellers and like it, but as for me, I'd happily take a work-from-home situation if it meant I could live out in the country somewhere. You can buy twice the house you could in the city for the same money in most cases.

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4 hours ago, John102 said:

Our place sent round a questionnaire last week, which was apparently to assess the work from home model. It turned out to be a not very well disguised attempt to determine if we would accept less money to continue to working from home.

Companies who offshore workers should be taxed to fuck for it, the playing the system greedy bastards.
 

What a fucking shit country we live in if our country is broke because people do their jobs from home instead of in city centres. Just so they can be bled dry by commuting costs, buying food, having a couple of bevvies after work and buying some shit from shops they probably don’t need. Maybe we should look at other countries where their economies aren’t 90% based on services and consuming, and learn from them?

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2 hours ago, The Gaul said:

It may not even be initial pay cuts, it'll be no pay rises in the guise of "it's a tough economy and you no longer need to pay to come to work", but it'll chip away year on year. 

I worked for a large well known company from 2004, but we were TUPE’ed to an outsourcer about 7 years ago and ever since we’ve had below inflation pay rises (we would have had fuck all without the bargaining power of our union), and our contractual performance bonuses have been decimated. It doesn’t need a pandemic for plenty of businesses out there to take the piss. 

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