Serviced offices in London are likely to play a crucial role as the capital continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Greater London Authority report from early 2021 predicted that serviced offices in London would be “an attractive substitute” to conventional long leases for businesses based in the city.
“With businesses wanting greater flexibility in lease terms, serviced offices may offer – at least in the short term – an attractive substitute for companies that are reluctant to sign long leases in the current environment,” the report stated.
“Carefully managed, good quality serviced office space may see an uptick in demand to accommodate such occupiers, most likely in the outskirts of central London.”
A flexible future
In September 2020, the GLA commissioned a study that found in the city’s Central Activity Zone, businesses expected 72% of their workforce would continue to work at least partially from home in 2021-22.
“The extent to which employers are comfortable with workers contributing from home will be a significant factor in future demand,” the report added.
Combined with the more flexible leases available on serviced offices in London’s CAZ and surrounding areas, we could be looking at this hybrid model continuing for quite some time, as predicted in other recent articles.
Meeting in person
At the same time however, it remains important to see stakeholders and customers face-to-face in some circumstances, making physical meeting rooms in London a valuable asset too.
“Studies show that in-person communication leads to higher compliance to arrangements, suggesting that meetings with high importance may stay physical for the foreseeable future,” the GLA report suggested.
It added three other reasons why in-person working is advantageous over full-time working from home:
- To facilitate employee learning and to ‘be there’ to see economic outcomes
- To experience the shared environment of an office and company culture
- To develop interpersonal relationships more strongly than by remote contact alone
Serviced offices in London support all of these outcomes, by providing informal areas like kitchens and relaxation rooms, as well as meeting rooms for hire for more formal interactions.
A beating heart
The report called the Central Activity Zone “the beating heart of London’s global city” and noted the link between human networks and the infrastructure that enables them.
In Central London this includes elements like public transport, light rail, the Underground and roads; the supply of food and other goods; and long-distance travel links such as airports.
We are unlikely to see a significant shift away from the UK’s largest cities in this sense, even as employee preferences move towards more flexible, hybrid and home-based models.
That’s why serviced offices in London and other major city economies like Manchester are so important to the upcoming recovery, to bridge the gap between the infrastructure we have and the ways we want to work.
Get in touch
If you would like to ride the tide of economic recovery that is already underway, the Serviced Office Company can help by providing access to versatile business premises and support services in Central London and Manchester.
Call us today to find out more and together, we can get London back to work.