The UK has embraced flexible workplaces, whether they are serviced offices and meeting rooms, hotdesking facilities, or shared workspaces for freelancers and sole traders.
Now research has revealed the true extent of the UK’s flexible workplace sector in a year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and which has left the sector looking towards a brighter future.
Commercial real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield published Coworking 2020: What’s Next on the Flexible Workspace Horizon? in October and predicted that the outbreak will trigger a “5th revolution” for flexible workplaces, following a period of pandemic-induced recession.
UK flexible workplaces in numbers
The report’s headline figures show how UK flexible workplaces cater to an internationally significant market:
- 5,923 flexible workspaces in the UK
- New premises opened every 5 days in London
- 17% of the world’s flexible spaces are in the UK
While COVID-19 may have slowed the rate of growth temporarily, the sector is looking towards emergence from the pandemic as infection rates fall and vaccination rates rise.
And flexible workplaces are not only for sole traders and SMEs, as the report found 63% of global organisations also make use of coworking spaces somewhere in their commercial real estate portfolio.
COVID-19 and coworking
There are signs that the response to COVID-19 could lead to increased uptake of coworking spaces for many companies.
According to the report, previous recessions have been “a catalyst for growth in the flexible workspace sector”.
COVID-19 could follow the same pattern as businesses look to bounce back as quickly as possible from any negative economic impacts.
The report cites several advantages of flexible workspaces for companies coming out of the COVID-19 era:
- Increased flexibility
- Reduced capital investment
- Better customer experience
It adds that flexible workplaces are “a multi-faceted, flexible solution to UK occupiers’ safe return to the office in the short term”.
Serviced Office Company’s own newly opened Business Centre in London offers coworking and collaborative spaces, as well as privacy when it is needed.
We opened the new Business Centre in Tower Hamlets in August, providing the capital with more much-needed open-plan business space where individuals and teams can collaborate safely while observing all relevant social distancing recommendations.
In the near future, we hope social distancing will no longer be necessary, as more of the UK’s working-age population receives one of the vaccines against COVID-19.
But beyond that time, as the UK economy gets back on track, our meeting rooms and serviced offices in London and Manchester will continue to provide companies of all sizes with essential places to meet and work.
Plan for the future now
To find out more about our serviced offices in Manchester and London, contact the Serviced Office Company today.
Our locations include Pepper Street and Millharbour Court in London, Exchange Quay and Clippers Quay on the boundary of Manchester and Salford Quays.
From these premises, we provide serviced offices, meeting rooms for hire and virtual office facilities for people working from home.
Whatever option works best for you, get in touch and we can help you get your workspace ready for a bright future as we all move together into the post-COVID era.