Blog, Resources

13 January 2021

Our research reveals the cities most likely to adopt a flexible working approach in 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect all aspects of daily life, the last nine months have forced many businesses to change and adapt to new ways of working. While some have changed for good and a home working situation will be the norm - at least for the foreseeable future - many others are leaving it to their employees to decide for themselves how and where they would like to work.

As it stands, Government guidance urges those who can to work from home, while some offices have aimed to remain open for use if needed. With this in mind, we have crunched the numbers to establish the cities where workers want a varied approach to work and are seeking an escape from the monotony of the groundhog working day - searching for a permanent alternative to the closed office or simply looking to get out of the house into a new space on a temporary-basis. 

Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, we have compiled a list of search terms, including: 

  • Cheap coworking space
  • Cheap coworking space near me
  • Collaborative working space
  • Communal work spaces near me
  • Community workspace near me
  • Coworking locations near me
  • Coworking near me
  • Coworking office
  • Coworking office near me
  • Coworking office space
  • Coworking office space near me
  • Coworking space
  • Coworking space near me
  • Flexible office spaces near me
  • Free coworking space near me
  • Rent a coworking space
  • Rent workspace near me
  • Shared coworking space
  • Shared office
  • Shared office space
  • Shared office space for rent
  • Shared office spaces near me
  • Shared workspace
  • Shared workspace near me
  • Small coworking space

We have then broken down the search volume for this group of keywords by every UK city, looking at the August search volume when all offices reopened and Brits were urged to go back to work, compared to the October search volume when guidance changed to ‘work from home if you can’ and many offices closed once more. 

In the data we are looking for the cities where the percentage increase was the biggest in searches for these terms between August and October. This change implies these cities are most keen for a flexible working solution or generally in favour of more office-based working, due to the fact they are searching for alternatives to home working.

The top 10 cities with the biggest increases are below: 

LocationPercentage Change between August - October

UK-wide the trend is up by 37.2 per cent, indicating that as a population we are showing a desire to be in an office environment in some capacity, rather than a full-time home working set up. 

Exeter, Bath and Preston are leading the top 10 cities with an increase in searches up to 275%, suggesting that many office workers there are missing an office environment and looking for a way to incorporate this back into their day-to-day working life. It’s also worth noting that many offices in these cities are likely to still be open and the increase could be down to workers seeking the flexibility to utilise a variety of working spaces or save on the commute to a neighbouring city. 

Looking ahead into 2021 when working life may start to return to ‘normal’, it’s likely that many workers may fall back into a traditional way of working. However, for the cities that top this list, the data suggests that many may adopt more of a flexible approach to work, favouring local and convenient offices and studios over a lengthy commute, or a mixture of home working with stints in a flexible space for the much-needed office environment. What is clear though, is that a traditional static office may not suffice for many office workers and adopting flexible office spaces as a happy medium looks here to stay.


If you’re not in the position to physically change up your working space and move from one location to another, there are some simple things you can do at home to make the space feel different:


If you have the luxury to do so, moving your home office into different rooms of your house may help to create a new environment and help to control the desire to work flexibly in different spaces. If you can’t do this, just changing your surroundings, what’s on your desk or even sitting in a different position around the desk might help.


A tidy space equals a tidy mind and that rings true with your home office space - many workers may be itching to get out to somewhere new and have different surroundings. But, if this isn’t possible, keeping the space tidy and organised will pay dividends, meaning you feel less frustrated and have a clearer mind, helping you to work better.


Make some small changes to your working week: take lunch at a different time, go for a morning walk, start earlier and finish earlier or even change up the music you're listening to. Simple and small changes could make a big difference to what currently feels mundane, especially if it is the variety you’re craving to help break from the feeling of groundhog day.

If you're looking for flexible workspace options now, in the near future, or simply want to explore your options, get in touch with BizSpace today.


Khalid Aziz

Khalid joined BizSpace as Marketing Director in 2019. He has over 16 years’ experience in marketing for medium and multi-national organisations including O2 and Orange. He holds an MBA from Warwick University and a postgraduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Khalid is passionate about customer centricity and taking BizSpace’s marketing to the next level.


BizSpace has a great brand, in an exciting market. There is huge potential to grow brand awareness, digitalisation and deliver fantastic customer experiences.”