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The office is dead! Long live the office?

If you’ve been working from home for the past few months, you may be wondering if you’ll ever head back into the office. What the future holds for the places we spend our working days in is one of the most common questions to have come out of the coronavirus pandemic.

While some of the workforce are optimistic about the end of the office space altogether, others are certain that offices won’t be a thing of the past just yet. But does the truth lie somewhere in between? Will we see a more flexible way of working rise from the ashes of working from home?

Is the office dead?

Have you found yourself missing the office? Or are you perfectly comfortable with your set up at home? In a survey conducted on behalf of Withers Worldwide, experts in the area are suggesting that “there will be a dramatic increase in the demand for flexibility in the workspace” and “the days of whole buildings being occupied by a single tenant for a single purpose… are over.”

Could we see shared working spaces become the future? Buildings where companies are able to have shared access and therefore shared costs could flourish and become more of the norm. Forget about bringing in nick-knacks and photos for your desk! Think more streamlined working and minimal aesthetics.

The popular flexible workspace

In the current climate, flexible space operators should take advantage of the current market consolidation. With many office blocks now running on empty, now is the time to think about creating a hybrid model of what office spaces should look like.

Consider what companies now want. Many are now happy to let their workforce work from the comfort of their own homes, but may still want to offer the option for people to work from a more structured environment as and when they wish. According to a recent report, 30% of all office space will be consumed flexibly by 2030.

How will the uncertainty around office affect investors, landlords and tenants?

With a new found way of working, it’s likely that the more we operate from home, the more it will affect other areas of business. It wouldn’t be uncommon for landlords to have to factor these new ways of working into rental agreements and lease opportunities, as well as tenants having to search for properties that offer exactly what they are looking for.

Will these two new challenges have an affect on investors however? It’s likely that they will. They’ll have to think more strategically about the areas of a business that needs investment, for example business systems that will enable staff to work effectively while remote from the office. Whether these are short term investments or not is yet to be seen, and many may wish to wait until the fallout from the virus has plateaued to decide which areas require their funds.

The global flexible space market has grown by an average of 25% since 2014, and it’s only going to increase. With this in mind, it’s important that businesses across the country consider whether or not the office is dead, or if working from a more corporate space will come back in the future.