The requirement to work from home was lifted in January 2022, but offices are still less than full.
Across the UK, the shift to agile or hybrid working has reduced the office space requirements of many companies. Businesses are rethinking the office and repositioning it as a place to connect with colleagues, encourage face to face collaboration and promote staff wellbeing (we are social animals, after all). Many landlords are reconfiguring their office buildings to allow for office space that is more easily reconfigured as business adapt to new working patterns now and in the future.
While greater flexibility and a consideration for wellbeing are a concession to employees, businesses are also under pressure from regulators and their customers to reduce their carbon footprint. This is driving a shift to office buildings that meet the energy performance requirements that regulators will require in the future.
Sustainability and the war for talent are two major priorities for most businesses. The office needs to become a “destination” where people want to come together to collaborate and to share experiences. Having a space that people want to use, that also supports the environmental aspirations of the business (and its staff) will be key to attracting the right people.
Staff want to work for businesses that prioritise wellness, happiness, environmental impact and sustainability.
As such, many businesses are investing in revamping their offices now, in the hope of drawing people back. However, the days of spending Monday to Friday in the office are gone. People enjoy the comfort of working from home and the time they get back by not having to commute. The modern office will continue evolve and the future for most businesses looks set to be hybrid / agile working.