Offices around M25 surge in popularity as fewer people travel to work in City, new data reveals
Offices around the M25 have surged in popularity as fewer people have travelled to work in the City, new data reveals.
Towns on the outskirts of Greater London have emerged as working ‘hot spots’, according to IWG, one of the world’s largest workspace operators with 3,300 offices.
Demand to rent office space or book a meeting room in Uxbridge has rocketed 175 per cent in the past few months – with big leaps too in High Wycombe, 52 per cent, and Hayes, 24 per cent.
Sign of the times: Towns on the outskirts of Greater London have emerged as working ‘hot spots’
In contrast, demand to work in the City of London has dropped 26 per cent as more people have worked closer to home since Covid19 struck.
Mark Dixon, chief executive of IWG, said: ‘People want to work close to where they live. It’s going to stick. The most valuable real estate in the world may well be in Gerrards Cross [near the M25 in Buckinghamshire], not Central London.’
He said this trend will continue as more firms allow staff to work ‘flexibly’, in the office part of the week and from home on other days.
Demand to work in the suburbs has jumped by a third since Covid began, while appetite to work in rural areas has increased by a fifth. City centres are down by a tenth.
Dixon said: ‘Companies are thinking: if we don’t have flexible work and hybrid work as an offer, we won’t be able to hire the right people and the right talent going forward.
‘It means you can hire people more geographically spread out. If you want to hire someone who happens to live in Newcastle, you can and they don’t have to be surrounding London.’