working from home

Working from home and the future of London’s office space

Authors

Clodagh Wright
Clodagh Wright
Edmund Barnes
Edmund Barnes

To ditch, or not to ditch? In fact, this is the wrong question to ask when deciding what to do with your office space. Instead, focus on how you can adapt it and introduce modern working from home arrangements to meet workers’ needs in a COVID-19 world. In this article we provide an insight into the emerging trends in London’s office space market.

Downsizing, flexibility, and well-being

Flexioffices suggests that tenants are focusing on 3 key areas:

Three steps

Expanding on the first key area, a survey conducted by Accumulate Capital of over 500 senior business decision makers found that 73% believe COVID-19 will result in more UK businesses downsizing to smaller office spaces in the coming 12 months.

Office trends

Working from home and productivity

So, if you are downsizing, more of your staff are probably working from home as a result. But will your workers be as productive? According to a survey by Deloitte, yes.

Fifty five percent

It appears then that your workers can work efficiently at home and communicate effectively with their colleagues and clients with the right technology. Zoom and Teams spring to mind here.

Social interaction, collaboration and networking

Do you still need your office space if your workers are as productive working from home? The statistics from Deloitte below provides the answer.

Social interaction

So, your office space should be more than a place where you provide your workers with a desk and conduct meetings.

What you need to do is change the purpose of your office – move away from day-to-day workspaces towards a space for social interaction, collaboration and networking. According to Dror Poleg, author of Rethinking Real Estate, you need to make your office space “more experiential”. That way, your workers will want to be in the office more.

Remember, if you are thinking of changing the layout of your office, check your lease for any restrictions on alterations. You may need your landlord’s consent – we can assist you with this.

How to get more from your office space

According to Flexioffices, the offices that will survive this pandemic will be those that go green. Millennials want a better workplace, and by ‘better’ they mean a more sustainable and natural environment. This can be achieved in a few simple steps:

More office space

These features are called biophilic designs, and they have been proven to boost mental health, productivity, and even employee loyalty. So you can not only create a more sustainable and attractive work environment, but you can be more confident about employee retention rates if you prioritize staff well-being and the environment.

And remember, if you are thinking of changing the layout of your office, check your lease for any restrictions on alterations. You  need your landlord’s consent – we can assist you with this

Three things you could suggest to your staff whilst they are working from home to  improve their well-being

well-being

Hub and spoke network

As a result of downsizing, more working from home and the need to repurpose office space, there is a growing trend towards a hub and spoke network. That is, a reduced city centre presence but a greater number of smaller offices in the suburbs.

Offices

John Lewis, Westfield London’s House of Fraser store and The Office Group

Let’s take a look at how the businesses above and the rest of London’s office market are reacting.

Timeline

Despite the final point above being a concern for commercial landlords and property developers, rest assured that London’s offices market is still one of the most attractive in the world.

From a tenant’s perspective, office space in London may become more affordable and accessible as a result, which is a win for smaller companies looking to compete in London.

We are here to help

The experienced team here at Newmanor Law, specialists in commercial property legal advice, have the expertise to assist you in your property transactions. Please speak to Karen Mason, on +44 (0)20 7464 4081 or email karen.mason@newmanor.com to find out more.