Last month we launched Find a City Office. You can now search for available office space in 16 cities across the UK, with more cities to be added soon. Ultimately you’ll be able to search for offices anywhere in the UK – in and out of town.
The age of hybrid working is upon us
It goes without saying that the world of work has changed a great deal in the past 12 months! Despite the loosening of lockdown restrictions and rapid progress with vaccination, the future still remains uncertain. However, based on our observations, experience and research, it does seem likely that flexible, hybrid working is the way forward for most companies. Employees will mix home and office working – depending on their role and tasks. Collaborative, creative work really does require face-to-face interaction. Critically, passive learning is vital for the career development of younger, less experienced staff. That cannot happen over Zoom!
On the other hand, the last year has also demonstrated that plenty of tasks can be carried out from home – and that sometimes staff are more productive than they were previously in an office environment. A healthy mix of the two looks to be the preferred option for forward-thinking employers.
The age of hybrid working is upon us. A healthy mix of the office and home-working looks to be the preferred option for forward-thinking employers.
The evolution of office space
On that basis the office will not only survive, but – if the right choices are made – it will thrive! The office can continue to play a vital role in the future of successful businesses. However the way space is used will – without doubt – evolve, maybe quite dramatically. Flexible hubs with hot desks seem likely to become the norm. Crucially, employees who have become used to working with home comforts over the past year will now demand similar from their work space. On that basis, we expect to see landlords and business centres upping their game to provide higher quality space.
Employees who have become used to working with home comforts over the past year will now demand similar from their work space.
Location, Location, Location…
With the 5 day commute likely to be consigned to the dustbin, business will be reconsidering where best to locate their businesses. London has many strengths and as a world class city, it will doubtless retain its pull. However, London’s population is falling for the first time since the 1980s and it’s likely to continue its downward trajectory for a while at least. Many of us have been re-evaluating our priorities and life choices during the lockdown. Furthermore, during a pandemic, an exodus from the metropolis is hardly surprising. Additionally, there is political pressure to re-balance the relationship between London and the rest of the UK. This predates the pandemic of course, but events of the past year have increased the impetus.
London will continue to evolve and adapt – of that I have no doubt. Optics are important, so serious businesses will maintain their headquarters in London. But will all their staff continue to be based in a London office? With many working flexibly, it will make sense for companies to consider offices away from the capital – and closer to the homes of their people. Smaller companies could feasibly replace their physical London premises with a virtual address – relocating their staff to flexible office hubs based elsewhere.
With many working flexibly, companies will consider offices away from London – and closer to the homes of their people.
Find a City Office
That’s where Find a City Office comes in. Actually, we’ve been planning to roll out our London offering to the rest of the UK for a while, but the pandemic has provided the catalyst to make it happen. For the moment, you can search for space in 16 cities. There are some notable omissions and we are working to include these cities as quickly as possible. For the moment you’re restricted to searching for city office space in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast – and others. However eventually you’ll be able to search for office space anywhere in the UK – within a 5 mile radius of any postcode.
There’s no question the future remains uncertain, but I think it’s going to be interesting. Plenty of opportunities will present themselves to forward thinking, agile businesses. As we have been saying for sometime, flexibility is the key.
If you are looking for office space in a UK city, please have a look at our sister site – Find a City Office.