12 November 2021
Traditional leases are no longer the norm, with a growing number of occupiers on the hunt for an office that supports the wellbeing of their employees, rather than just a city address. At BizSpace, we have seen increased demand for our regional, flexible workspaces from businesses with workers who prefer not to commute into a city-centre office every day.
Huge shifts in the way we work, where we live, and how we shop have kept the property sector on its toes in recent years.
For instance, the government’s stamp duty holiday boosted demand within residential markets, despite successive national lockdowns. Today, though the tax break is at an end, UK house prices continue to rise, as people search for new homes that are in line with changed lifestyle choices, post-pandemic.
It is the office market that has garnered the most interest from industry experts and commentators. The way we work has changed significantly and continues to evolve. We now view work as something we do, not somewhere we go, and employers have woken up to the idea that solo working can be done effectively - and perhaps more efficiently - at home.
However, two years of working largely from home has underlined the importance of the office as a place for face-to-face interactions with colleagues. From scheduled meetings to impromptu discussions over coffee, these exchanges spark creativity and establish bonds between co-workers. In the office, junior employees can learn from more experienced members of staff, and it is easier to spot when workers are struggling. Far from leading to the death of the office, the pandemic has caused businesses to rethink what they’re looking for from a workplace, leading to a flurry of market activity. Indeed, recent data from Avison Young found that the central London office lettings market has now returned to pre-pandemic levels, with 2.4m sq ft of space let in Q3 – 26% above the previous quarter and 1.1% above the ten-year quarterly average. However, what workers want from the office has fundamentally changed – and the property industry has had to adapt to this.
Traditional leases are no longer the norm, with a growing number of occupiers on the hunt for an office that supports the wellbeing of their employees, as well as new flexible ways of working, rather than just a city address. In fact, the property sector has seen a rise in companies looking for flexible offices. Goldman Sachs and HSBC recently signed deals for flexible workspace in Birmingham. At BizSpace, we have seen increased demand for our regional, flexible workspaces from businesses with workers who prefer not to commute into a city-centre office every day.
Interestingly, amongst property-sector businesses, there are fewer examples of recent office rethinks. So, perhaps it’s time to practice what we preach. Changing an office footprint is about more than upsizing or downsizing post-pandemic; it is about ensuring the workspace truly meets the needs of a business and its employees, allowing it to function effectively. At BizSpace, we provide our customers with contemporary, stylish office space that allows businesses to flourish and grow. Our flexible terms, co-working offer and regional, easy-to-reach locations help businesses thrive by providing a space that works for employees. For example, our newly refurbished Newcastle business centre is a fully serviced private office space, providing expansive, furnished offices, stylish breakout areas and private-working booths, as well as a manned reception, meeting rooms for hire, and custom signage.
Property-sector businesses are at the coalface of the shift toward workspaces designed for new ways of working. But few appear to have made the move themselves. For companies looking for offices that better reflect the changing world of work, BizSpace is sure to have a solution.