I have attended several interesting events recently including Predictions & Resolutions for 2018 at M&G office, as well as the CREation launch party at WeWork in Moorgate. Both events were organised for different reasons, however, both tackled a very prominent topic in the industry: flexible working and the future of office space.
Indeed, we have been noticing how more and more work is no longer about the repetitiveness of an action or stillness in the environment, quite the contrary. Work and office space have shifted to be much more connected than before, creating a need for environments that offer interaction and collaboration. Essentially, today’s office is about human interaction.
But what are the factors that have been so crucial to this shift in our work?
Given these factors, workers, employers and entrepreneurs are looking for more flexible working environments, where they can achieve more transparency, knowledge sharing and last but not least, convenience. For these reasons, we have seen a great increase of new office space providers such as WeWork, SPACES, Servcorp and so on, which offer fun, central and beautiful spaces with dynamic and affordable prices and agreements.
But let’s have a look at some of the advantages of flexible working…
What is the size of this market?
Data shows that start-ups, creative and technology sectors have a clear preference for flexible working space. London is an absolute leader in this field, with a very mature market and it has been estimated shared offices has grown by 13% a year globally for the past decade. Central London saw 2.5m sq ft leased to flexible workspace providers in 2017, a 190% increase on the previous year. In addition, there has been an increase in the flexible workplace in the UK’s largest regional cities, such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, and Newcastle, totalling 7.5% of all city centre lettings in 2017.
What are the traditional landlord’s reactions to this movement?
In general, previously the more prominent landlords in London haven’t particularly acted on the rise of this trend, however, the scale of office take-up simply cannot be ignored. After attending events and seeing the statistics that have been released, it would seem, landlords, not only across London but also the rest of Europe, are moving from hardware to software, creating more flexible solutions and spaces, to meet tenant demand.