According to the BBC, The City of London Corporation is looking to ‘convert empty offices into housing, creating 1,500 new homes by 2030. The corporation promises that at least 35% will be affordable housing.’ Alongside this, several companies have announced a permanent flexible working policy, meaning that employees can continue to work from home, with the option of coming into the office as and when they would like to.
This has been seen by law firm Irwin Mitchell whose 3,000 employees will be able to choose where and when they work, and the firm’s 15 offices around the UK, including in London’s Holborn, will become hubs for collaborative working. Banking group HSBC also revealed recently that it was taking advantage of the booming popularity of home working by cutting its global office space by 40%.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have been forced to embrace remote working where a job can be conducted successfully from home. Whilst adapting to home working, businesses realised that productivity didn’t suffer and instead increased, costs were cut across the board and it was possible to collaborate successfully with the use of a strong internet connection.
“The issue of remote working has divided opinion within the financial sector, however, with the chief executive of Goldman Sachs calling the trend an aberration. Although the US bank has operated successfully while its staff remained at home, David Solomon said this did not represent ‘a new normal’ because firms like Goldman Sachs required face-to-face contact to foster innovation and collaboration and to train and guide the next generation.”The Guardian
Regardless of some businesses insisting on a return to ‘normal’ such as Goldman Sachs, in July last year, The Telegraph reported RICS believes that nine in 10 in the commercial property industry expect firms to cut back on office space. As well as this, employees’ are showing a reluctance to return to full-time commuting after a year of COVID meaning that change is afoot for companies.
Working from home could be the new normal for many employees as more major employers and CEOs, including Mondelez, Nationwide and Barclays, talk about a permanent shift to work from home and reduced office space. The hybrid office has become a reality, with flexible working a priority for employees who have seen the benefits of working from home.
“Seven in 10 UK employees who have been working remotely during Covid-19 told a survey by Boston Consulting Group that they felt as productive at home as in the workplace. More than half (53%) of workers said they would prefer a hybrid model in future, splitting their time equally between their desk and a remote location.”The Guardian
Office spaces such as the ones we provide here at The Workstation are becoming highly sought after and are allowing people to achieve the work-life balance they so desire. It also provides a change of scenery from working from home, whilst maintaining a collaborative and professional approach.
All of our offices are set in desirable locations, close to local amenities and useful transport links. Our clients use our office spaces as a base for their business, as a place to entertain and meet with business partners and potential clients as well as a productive environment that increases motivation and inspires innovation.