London workspace in 2024: here’s why you need to go flexible

With hybrid the norm and the Flexible Working Bill incoming, will flexible working spaces provide the capital with the perfect work-life-cost balance?

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As  2024 begins, London’s flexible office market will continue to gain momentum buoyed by the government’s Flexible Working Bill, expected to be implemented in spring.

The rise and rise of flexible workspaces

Over the past few years, we have seen the market across London rapidly adapt to ever-evolving working dynamics – with hybrid and fully remote becoming the norm for workers. 

In 2022, there was continued pent-up demand for office space due to the pandemic. In 2023, we saw a course correction and ended the year in a new steady state. This is backed by figures from Cushman & Wakefield who found central London office lettings are forecast to hit around 8.5 million sq ft this year. While this is below pre-2020 levels, figures show that we have established a new normal for the industry.

The increasing appetite for flexible workspace in 2024 is supported by recent Startups research that points to UK employers embracing remote and hybrid policies as their preferred way of operating. The continued growth will be a reflection of businesses looking for increasingly agile and adaptable high-quality office spaces in prime locations without the constraints and hassles that so often come with traditional offices. 

Where flexibility meets productivity

Work-life balance has become increasingly important to employees and employers alike in recent years, with the old school 9-to-5 office grind no longer meeting the needs of all workers. Landmark Space’s recent research revealed that the non-linear working day and week is still disrupting the status quo, with Tuesday (65%), Wednesday (65%) and Thursday (59%) remaining the most popular days for office-goers.  We anticipate this will continue throughout 2024. 

Blending both remote working and in-office time can provide the flexibility that professionals are looking for, giving them space to adapt their jobs around their personal responsibilities, while still enabling in-person connection and collaboration. 

For businesses trying to find that equilibrium between business needs and employee work-life balance, it can feel increasingly complex, with the realisation that there is no one size fits all solution. Therefore, options such as a flexible office caters to these diverse workstyles, simultaneously fulfilling business needs and office requirements alongside employee preferences. 

Looking forward, companies that maintain agility in response to the growing demand for flexibility among employees are poised for success. Businesses that choose to transition to flexible workspaces will experience optimised flexibility and increased productivity.

In-person connections: going beyond the virtual world

Virtual fatigue has also become prominent, with people increasingly looking for genuine, face-to-face interactions. Our research highlighted the importance of social interactions among office goers, with 45% of workers emphasising the value of connecting with colleagues as the most beneficial aspect of the office. This sentiment was closely followed by collaboration with colleagues on work projects (43%) and face-to-face meetings (36%). 

Flexible workspaces, especially shared coworking areas, provide an ideal hub for the types of impromptu brainstorming sessions, water cooler chats, and coffee breaks that allow organic relationship-building, alongside structured every day in person meetings. For those feeling drained by endless video calls, these spaces facilitate stepping away from the virtual world and into a space where tangible connections are not only possible but encouraged. 

This trend will continue to bolster the success of the flexible office market, with hybrid workers especially craving personal interaction. 

Cost efficiency: the practical appeal

Next year, most businesses will continue to feel the effect of the economic headwinds we are experiencing. Traditional office leasing can be expensive, with fixed costs that leave little room for adaptability. Given this, businesses may well turn to flexible serviced offices. This demand is especially high among SMEs and entrepreneurs who are growing and scaling up businesses, often on tighter budgets but in need of professional spaces. Savings can add up substantially over time so businesses will continue to think carefully about their office spaces. 

In order to stand out from the crowd when businesses are considering flexible spaces, providers should not just continue to help them save on office management and operational costs. We should be looking to add value by offering amenities, food and drink or concierge-like services at reception, for example. 

Final thoughts

So, as we head into 2024, growth in the flexible workspace market across London shows no signs of waning, with a growth rate of 2% predicted by Savills*. Flexible offices continue to address the needs and preferences of modern professionals and businesses, all of whom are increasingly valuing adaptability, work-life balance, and in-person connections. 

Ed Cowell - CEO, Landmark-Space

Ed leads the Landmark Space team as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Landmark Space, Ed was the CEO of a PE owned vehicle leasing company and has held senior roles in G4S, Speedy Services and Barclays. Ed draws on extensive leadership experience to drive Landmark Space forwards and has a passion for exceeding the current needs of clients and exploring their future requirements.

Landmark Space
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