Shared And Serviced Offices On The Rise - 4 April 2018

Shared And Serviced Offices On The Rise

There is no escaping the fact that we are changing the way we work. What constitutes a job, or career, is no longer limited by working hours or geography. Undoubtedly, technology has played a big part, enabling us to work on the go, morning noon or night.

Equally, when it comes to office space, the working environment is changing too, with shared and serviced office space rapidly on the rise. The figures definitely support this. Interestingly, the regions are also on trend. By the end of 2017, the full year figures for rented serviced office space stood at a massive 2.9 million sq ft - a 157% increase - according to Savills. Furthermore, regional markets outside of London/M25 saw unprecedented growth levels with serviced office take-up totalling 436,063 sq ft in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 406%.

So, where's this growth coming from?

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics self-employment now represents a larger share of employment: up from around 12% of the labour force in 2001 to around 15.1% in 2016.

And, according to the latest Global Co-working survey, this trend shows no sign of abating. Their latest research indicates that 40% of the UK workforce will be either freelancers or 'solopreneurs' by 2020.

So, it's only natural that there's a greater blurring of the lines between conventional and more flexible office space. One size no longer fits all. Individuals are looking for shared space. Somewhere to rent a desk with facilities on tap. At the same time, businesses can see the logic of renting office space for as long or short a period as they like. Anxiety over managing facilities and dealing with unexpected repairs is removed.

The common themes here are flexibility and risk-free.

Undoubtedly there are drawbacks to co-working or sharing space. However, noise and disruption aside, many consider their emotional well-being and sense of optimism has never been better. Isolation gives way to collaboration and a real sense of community. A network.

When it comes to serviced office space, it seems that attitudes have made a volte-face. After the dotcom boom collapsed and largescale operators were forced to retrench, the tenant base for serviced office providers has diversified. Small, medium and large companies alike are looking for flexible arrangements. A shift of mindset has also taken place: the frumpy "serviced office" has become the fashionable "co-working space", where the best creative minds meet.

After all, greater flexibility affords change. And change is here to stay.

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