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Workspaces at the service of their occupants


Managing a real estate investment fund is not limited to selecting the best real estate assets on the market to ensure an optimal return for investors. Managing a real estate investment fund is above all about ensuring that the assets are consistent with the market and the current and future expectations of the occupants. A vision that consists of adopting a long-term view by undertaking renovation or restructuring work, which will ultimately contribute to the attractiveness and value of the asset. Today, the rehabilitation and flexibility of buildings and the reversibility of spaces are at the heart of projects because they allow real estate assets to be positioned in a more responsible and virtuous approach.

BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management's (REIM) Workplace & Design service offering was born out of this human-centred approach, placing the tenant at the centre of the reflection process and taking into account their expectations and way of interacting with a building's spaces. This service offering will be deployed in more than 80 of the management company's strategic buildings across Europe. It is based on four main themes: the design of customer relations, the design of spaces and common areas (lobby, restaurant, service areas, etc.), the design of services (concierge service, gym, etc.) and the design of sustainable development.

Designing the customer relationship

The expectations of users are taken into account through surveys and questionnaires to identify their needs and propose an adapted service offer.

Shared meeting and work spaces: "25% of our tenants would like to benefit from shared meeting and co-working spaces, even if it means paying more rent. "Gilles Cordon, Head of Workplace & Design, BNP Paribas REIM France, explains. 

The catering areas are expected to be reversible, with a wide range of options and opening times.

The general atmosphere of the office building is important. It is expressed in the stimulation of the five senses through music, smell, the design of the furniture or art exhibitions and digital art.

The integration or consideration of the environment in the building is illustrated by the presence of vegetation in the offices and common areas, the creation of green areas and the presence of charging stations for electric cars.

Tenant satisfaction is monitored annually by analysing the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Tenant satisfaction has a direct impact on tenant retention. A tenant who is satisfied with their office building is more likely to renew their lease. Similarly, the Workplace & Design service offering can also be used at the end of the lease. On the Podium building in La Plaine Saint-Denis, this strategy contributed to the signing of a new tenant in a tight market area.

Guillaume Delattre

The office building still has its place in the working world. How it is used evolves according to the needs and expectations of users. At a time when the Covid-19 health crisis has made remote working widespread, the office building is being transformed into a place of sociability, informal exchanges and collective emulation, which is more difficult at a distance

Guillaume Delattre
Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas REIM France

The design of common areas

Because every square metre must be optimised, the reversibility of common areas is a trend that is set to increase. A company's entrance hall must not only fulfil its original function of welcoming visitors and employees, but must also convey the company's identity from the very first steps into the building, provide more confidential spaces for receiving clients or partners and, where possible, integrate a range of services (dry cleaning, parcel relays, etc.) that are accessible to employees and local residents in the spirit of an office building that is open to the outside world.

BNP Paribas REIM's teams have teamed up with three renowned architectural agencies to imagine and design these spaces and thus provide a basis for reflection for their tenant clients. The objective is always to co-construct the space according to the expectations of the tenants. 

Case study

Improving interactions within spaces: the Néon building in Nanterre

This new building, located to the west of Grand Paris in Nanterre, was acquired in 2019. Very quickly, a review of the layout of the common areas was undertaken with the tenant company to meet its specific needs. The company restaurant has been redesigned in the spirit of a brasserie with a lounge area for meeting and working outside of catering hours. The reception area has workstations and a comfortable waiting area for visitors. Soft mobility and physical activities are encouraged by the presence of a changing room and showers for those wanted to exercise and employees who cycle to work. Finally, a great deal of attention has been paid to the provision of reliable Internet access throughout the building, as Wi-Fi is available in the canteen and in the outdoor area. These improvements to the building spaces have encouraged the tenant company to expand its leased areas until the building is fully leased. 

The design of services

Employee well-being is increasingly becoming an integral part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. As a result, companies are offering their employees a range of services within the building itself. More than just work spaces juxtaposed with social spaces, the office building of tomorrow will be a service building. In order to meet the challenges of attracting and retaining talent, companies rely on their real estate to attract new recruits and retain their employees. While telecommuting is helping to blur the boundaries between work and private life, and the bedroom becomes an office for a day, the office building must also meet the personal needs of employees. This means providing services such as a crèche, a gym and a concierge service.

BNP Paribas REIM's teams also take charge of organising a real plan to promote the buildings under their management, to support the occupants and make them aware of the importance of their behaviour on the environment. This approach has a twofold objective: better understanding and appreciation of the services, and optimisation of their impact on the carbon and energy balance of their building. Together, tenants, occupants and owners can thus undertake a series of actions which, if taken together, will make it possible to achieve the objectives of the tertiary sector decree. 

Case study

Bringing new services to tenants: the Les Portes de France building in La Plaine Saint-Denis
A new layout of the interior spaces has enabled the deployment of new services, a cafeteria, a fitness centre and a well-being area. Two teams welcome occupants and visitors on a daily basis using codes similar to those of the hotel industry. Finally, in order to provide tenants with maximum flexibility, a coworking operator, Now Connected, has been set up on two levels.

NB: Case study taken from the BNP Paribas REIM newsletter n°17

The design of sustainable development

While the social aspect is becoming more and more important in the CSR strategies of companies, the environmental aspect is more historic. The construction of a user relationship strategy would be incomplete if it did not take into account the challenges of sustainable development. The design and layout of workspaces is reflected in the use of recycled or reused materials and the consideration of biodiversity. 

Case study

Engaging an ESG approach: the 185 avenue Charles de Gaulle building in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

A building restructuring project was undertaken when the building's tenant moved out. The aim was to bring this office building with its premium location up to the highest standards of ESG criteria. A roof terrace and an interior garden offer a place in the city for biodiversity. A forum with stands allows for the organisation of events and a "village square" combines meeting spaces and catering facilities. This restructuration has made it possible to rent the building to two renowned tenants.