A new way of working in the office could see occupancy rise in set-space London business centres as smaller spaces contain more people.
Lend Lease is a company designed to squash big companies into small buildings – as it recently did with the Commonwealth Bank in Sydney, where 6,500 staff work without a desk to improve space efficiency.
“Behaviours are changing rapidly as the workforce gets younger,” says Lend Lease’s Kevin Chapman.
“Companies are going over to 100% activity-based working. You wander around with your Mac Air and sit where you need to be at that moment. There are not many places in London you can do that today.”
Or are there? As flexible working grows in popularity and fewer people spend all their time in an office, the work is going to coffee shops, public spaces and co-working workshops – of which London has plenty.
“Even without this summer’s events, those who commute to London – and other UK cities – are only too familiar with the stress, expense and long hours associated with relying on public transport infrastructure,” says Steve Purdy of office space provider Regus.
“Across the country, the number of professionals that are able to choose between different work locations is substantial. But there is still much progress to be made to help all workers benefit from more flexible conditions. This is especially true when the win-win benefits of slashing commutes are analysed.”
The future remains to be seen.