A Flexible Future? London Office Market Confident About Workspace in a Post-COVID World

March 25, 2021

The office market in London is reported to be confident in the role offices will play once working from home is no longer a requirement. As the chair of City of London Corporation’s planning committee Alastair Moss told the Evening Standard“We’re seeing striking confidence in the City office market from developers, investors and occupiers” adding that the area “will remain a magnet for world-class talent.”

While the unprecedented surge in remote working during the past year has come with its benefits, many workers recognising the money and time saved from commuting to and from work, this has not entirely negated the need, or in fact the want, for an office.

In fact, O2 Business’s recent poll found that out of the 2,099 UK adults involved, 32% didn’t want a return to the office at all. This research suggested that there were many professionals who would instead prefer a mixture of both the office and remote working – and when looking at the benefits of this, it’s easy to see why.

Of course, working from the comfort of your own home comes with a variety of different benefits, for many, this also comes with some negatives – wanting more of a separation between their work and their home environment, having to deal with noisy housemates and neighbours, and struggling to collaborate virtually on projects as effectively as when in the same physical space.

Having a formal start and end to the working day can help to bring a sense of order that many remote workers may be craving at the minute. However, with the flexibility and money-saving benefits of working from home, it’s no surprise many could prefer a mix of the two. With many companies in the City letting their leases expire, they may be looking for covid ready offices if they are going to return this summer and be health conscious.

It appears that office spaces will still hold an important place in the post-pandemic world of work, being an asset that could help retain existing, valued staff while attracting new talent in. As Knight Frank’s head of London commercial research Faisal Durrani was recently reported commenting: “The focus is very much on high quality, best-in-class space”

“Not least because the quality of offices are increasingly being used in the war for talent, an issue that will transcend the pandemic.”

While many still work from home where possible to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the future could potentially bring more flexibility than existed prior to the pandemic, and an enhanced value placed on offices as a separate, professional, collaborative space.

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