One in three small businesses planning to downsize office requirements
Of those who expect to reduce their space, 74 per cent anticipate decreasing their existing footprint by up to a quarter. A further 12 per cent expect to reduce their office space by up to a half.
While many businesses may be looking to reduce the amount of space they hold, the research – by Grant Thornton – shows that there is still a need and want for some corporate space, though how it will be used is likely to change.
John Burgess, associate director, real estate and assets, Grant Thornton UK, said: “Our research shows that as home working becomes the norm, and demand for office space reduces, businesses will be looking to scale back their property portfolios and optimise spaces to suit new working models.
“It’s clear that there is still a need for a corporate space and, while there has been much talk of the ‘death of the office’, what we’re seeing is more of an evolution. Teams still need to meet each other and many organisations will need dedicated space to meet clients and host events.
“The nature and purpose of office space is likely to change to accommodate the different ways of working, and there will be a focus on reducing space gradually over time.
“There is also likely to be a shift from habitual daily desk-based working, to a much greater focus on planned collaboration time with teams and with clients. This change in working style provides a chance for companies to reimagine their offices and create spaces for their people, clients, customers and stakeholders to use collaboratively, and more strategically.”
He added: “The split view across respondents as to how they anticipate their space being used going forward also demonstrates the need for bespoke solutions. Businesses need to ensure that any review of their space, and how they use it going forward, meets both the needs of their people – which are likely to have changed over the last year – and the unique requirements of their business.”
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