In this episode of devcast… Andrew Deverell-Smith is joined in the studio by Lucinda Pullinger, Managing Director at the Instant Group, giving us an expert’s insight into how the workspace industry is evolving with the ever-changing real estate space and Covid-19.
Beginning her career within HR in the late 90’s, Lucinda joined Shell and worked in various roles, starting in Shell Trading. She then wanted to take her passion for sport and blend it with her career and this is when she moved to the Rugby Football Union, working as the HR Director there for over 4 years.
It was here she met ex rugby player, Tim Rodber, who is also the CEO at Instant. With no real desire to work within the property world, she knew that she wanted to work in a fast moving and everchanging industry, with room for growth. And that is how she was pulled into the ever-evolving world of property, through the environment, culture, and the businesses growth potential.
First impressions of the industry
She openly shares that her first impressions of the real estate industry weren’t the most positive, with a very traditional way of working and thinking. However, Lucinda wants to disrupt this within the Instant Group and open people’s eyes to the opportunities there are within real estate to modernise.
She makes some terrific suggestions on how the real estate agency can play catch up, including the use of flex and having a more agile portfolio rather than huge buildings and long leases. However, Lucinda is starting to see this change already with landlords being more open to flex spaces and providing white label solutions for their clients!
Covid accelerating the change
Lucinda comments on the fact that the pandemic had an undeniable impact on the transformation within the workspace. She states that Covid has made people wake up to the fact that working can be done more flexibly, people can work effectively from home, and that is now what people want and expect within a role. It is not going to go back to the traditional way of work, and we can expect to see more progression, and Covid has helped accelerate this.
Gazing into the next five years, Lucinda hopes that we will be looking at hybrid working as the norm, and it’s not something that the talent and candidates are demanding but being offered constantly. She makes an excellent point that it gives businesses wider access to great talent that they may not have been able to achieve with the traditional 9-5, 5 day a week offering.
With her passion for people and the workspace, she shares that she wants to see employees able to have a work life balance that improves their stress levels and suits their needs.
From HR to Property
"We are not just talking to real estate people; we are talking to HR Directors. In fact, quite a few of our clients have now moved their real estate under the HR Directors”
Andrew dives into the fact that there aren’t many Managing Directors within Property that come from a HR background. She mentioned that it’s no longer as simple as choosing a workspace that has the right amount of space and then off we go. It is becoming more of a collision of the human, digital and tech angle as well as sustainability and the physical workspace that results in a more complex issue for organisations to navigate.
Growth for the Instant Group
Lucinda shared that Instant Group merged with IWG Digital Assets, accelerating their goal to create the world’s largest marketplace for flex.
Listen now for an expert’s insight into what you can expect to see in the future of the workspace.