A new age for the London office sector awaits

Property Week - 15 June 2023
Simon Eastlake
2 min read
Published: 20 Jun 2023 10:43

Far from constituting a last stand by a fading industry, this wave of redevelopment marks the start of a new era for the commercial property sector and ushers in a more flexible future.

Change demands adaptation, and adaptation brings innovation. When macroscopic events such as Covid-19 occur, it’s natural they should be followed by periods of uncertainty. This is what we’ve seen in London’s commercial property sector in recent years: the upheaval of the pandemic acting as a catalyst to developments that contemporary technology and work patterns had previously set in motion. What we shouldn’t do is mistake this development for decline.

Among the factors prolonging uncertainty are the varying desires of working patterns among workers and businesses. As long as employers demand in-person and employees call for homeworking, the fate of the office sector seems uncertain.

But when we take a closer look at these tensions, their trajectory points to a clear resolution: flexible office spaces. A new way of working demands a new type of office – one that encourages staff to make the commute with up-to-date tech, collaborative environments and onsite services.

What some more pessimistic analysts have described as the end of the office is in fact the beginning of a new age for workspaces – one that embraces flexibility, prioritises services and drives a greener future. Indeed, a recent study showed two-thirds

of flex spaces are more than 80% occupied.

A new age lies ahead for London offices, and with record volumes of refurb schemes, it is clear this future is more flexible.