Office working is shifting to the suburbs

By Angela Coventry

We are hearing it from all corners of the industry as landlords and office space providers look to address the changing scene of the workplace since the Covid-19 crisis hit. 

In a recent interview, IWG Chief Executive Mark Dixon tells the Guardian “the amount of interest in home working and local solutions has gone off the charts.”

Mark cites that the fear of commuting, the fact that people have tasted the relative luxury of not having to commute, and the fact that companies still need offices where staff can drop in for social interaction, meetings and business reviews; is fast tracking the shift towards the hub-and-spoke model.

Mark’s IWG, formerly known as Regus, the world’s biggest flexible office space provider, is facing a tough quarter but has a positive outlook in expecting a better fourth quarter as efforts to respond and adapt are addressed.  Rival office provider WeWork is facing similar challenges as clients are understandably nervous about working in the traditional co-working environments.

If Mark is correct, and he has every reason to be, more companies will have their workforces spread across satellite offices, with more employees working closer to home or continuing to work from home.  PWC today reconfirmed their expectation that the majority of its 22,000 UK staff will spend some of their time working remotely, as will most of the major banks and other leading industries across the UK.

On the other hand, Xu Weiping, a Chinese multimillionaire, has a vision for the future of office work in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world; thousands of office pods where each person works in their own self-contained 3m x 3m cube.  Xu believes the coronavirus pandemic will have such a fundamental impact on the way people work that he is converting 20 newly constructed office buildings in east London into 2,000 individual cube offices.

Either way, we cannot deny that this global crisis has dramatically changed the way companies will work.  As the country gets back to work post Covid-19, offices will still be needed but there will be a greater requirement and increased demand for alternative solutions.  After all, as Mark says, “You don’t want to meet people in your front room or bedroom.”

At Bray Business Centre we feel we are well prepared to support our SME clients as they adjust their requirements accordingly.  Contact us to explore how one of the following solutions can assist your business soon;

  • Our traditional offering of individual offices for SMEs and start-ups is ticking all the boxes; a shorter commute, high speed internet, individual Covid-19 considerate offices, ample parking etc – and all located on the river in the picturesque village of Bray-on-Thames (yes, gastro rich Bray) just on the outskirts of Maidenhead and Windsor.
  • Our Virtual Office packages are also in demand, supporting those who have decided that working from home is working well. We provide a cost-effective solution ensuring the credibility of a business presence complete with administrative support, whilst our clients focus on manoeuvring their businesses through these difficult times
  • For those who just need a bit of space for a day or two during the week, particularly for the foreseeable future – our new offering of Flexible Day Offices is becoming a much sought-after option. Without all the usual ties, we offer a dedicated office (no co-working open plan here) for as many days per week as our clients need, bringing that much needed sanctuary to prioritise and super-drive productivity.
  • Our sister property in Maidenhead provides some interesting options too, for those who still want the feel of a city office but want to stay closer to home and avoid the commute.

Need to know more?

Enquire now to see how Bray Business Centre can help your business.

Call us on 01628 762600, or complete the form below.

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