Demand for office space in Manchester is likely to be driven in 2021 by businesses opening a ‘north shore’ for their operations and by serviced offices in Manchester and Salford, according to a Deloitte UK report.

The analyst’s Manchester Crane Survey 2021 notes that in 2020, 36% of office floor space under construction in the city was already pre-let.

“However, new workspace moves for businesses coming into either Manchester or Salford were delayed temporarily and occupation of let space is unlikely to be made until mid-2021 at the earliest,” it adds.

The report predicts that during 2021, further take-up of Manchester office space will be in serviced office buildings, as well as government departments and north-shoring businesses.

The big return to office life

The past 12 months saw offices up and down the UK affected by the COVID-19 restrictions, including changes to seating layouts, minimum distancing between employees and efforts to improve ventilation and cleanliness.

But the roll-out of Coronavirus vaccines means that in 2021, a return to more normality may be achievable – and the Deloitte UK report lists several advantages of office working that will entice employees back from working at home.

They include:

  • An environment where ideas can be exchanged.
  • A place for collaboration to take place.
  • A way to support flexible working arrangements.

Deloitte adds: “To further incentivise a return to the workplace over the longer term, we may see physical and functional adaptations to allow for more focus on collaboration and opportunities for flexible working.”

Premises in the pipeline

Serviced offices in Manchester and Salford could see greater demand in 2021-22 due to a subdued pipeline of new premises in the post-COVID period.

At the end of 2020 there was 39% less office floor space under construction in Manchester, compared with the start of the year.

The number of new construction starts in 2020 was also down by two fifths, compared with the yearly average dating back to 2007.

As this feeds through into new office completions over the coming few years, businesses may instead look to Manchester serviced office providers for the floor space and flexible terms they need.

Combining physical and virtual offices

For businesses that want to continue a primarily home-based workforce, virtual offices in Manchester and Salford are an option, providing a professional public appearance for staff based at home – or anywhere else, for that matter.

The Serviced Office Company operate virtual offices in Salford Quays from our physical serviced office buildings on Clippers Quay and Exchange Quay, as well as on the Isle of Dogs in London.

Combined with meeting rooms for hire on the premises, this gives you everything you need to set up a virtual northern branch, operate a mixed-mode workforce with employees in-person and others at home, and grow your business as the economy bounces back post-COVID.

For more information about renting serviced office space in Manchester or London, email us at, call us on 0800 319 6600, or fill in our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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