Office Space Could Become Unused

20% Of London Office Space Could Become Unused

UNITED KINGDOM – A survey by property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) found out that up to a fifth of office space in London and southeast England could become redundant due to the popularity of working from home (WFH) in a post-COVID world, reported The Guardian on Saturday (25 June, SGT).

According to LSH’s latest office market report, the amount of office space that could become unused could hit 26 million sq ft. This translates to more than the office supply in Reading or over 15 times the area of the 50-storey One Canada Square skyscraper in Canary Wharf.

After over a year of telecommuting due to the virus outbreak, office-based employees are hesitating to spend their entire work week in the office and are asking their bosses if they can continue to work remotely at least part of the time.

Despite the withdrawal of all COVID-related curbs in the country, merely 15 percent of the 50 companies that took part in Lambert Smith Hampton’s office survey said that their staff currently spend at least 4 days per week in their workplace versus 90 percent prior to the pandemic.

About 29 percent said that the most typical attendance rate for their workers was 3 days a week, while 43 percent shared that their employees work only 2 days per week in the office.

Due to this, office tenants are mulling how much workspace they require and what type of office space they need post-pandemic. Still, LSH discovered that many companies are on the hunt for better quality office space in a bid to lure staff back to their desks for at least part of the week.

However, firms face “lack of options that truly tick all the boxes” as they look for quality workspace in convenient locations with good environment, social, and governance (ESG) credentials, said Ryan Dean, Head of office advisory at Lambert Smith Hampton.

“There simply isn’t much to choose from and, where it is available, occupiers are prepared to pay a handsome premium to secure it,” he added.

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