- Demand for UK flexible workspace almost doubled from 2018 – 2019, according to Workthere.
- London saw a sharp rise from 7% to 12%, underlining the capital’s appeal to the start-up community.
- The size of space requested is also on the rise, particularly in London, Reading and Manchester.
The proportion of enquiries from start-ups for flexible office space across the UK almost doubled from 8% in 2018 to 15% in 2019, according to Workthere’s latest Market Snapshot.
The flexible office specialist notes that of the proportion of new business enquiries it received last year, London saw a rise from 7% in 2018 to 12% in 2019, underlining the capital’s appeal to the start-up community. In addition, London also reported the largest average enquiry for 15 desks, followed by Reading at 9.8 desks and Manchester at 7.9 desks.
Cal Lee, global head of Workthere, comments: “Our findings show that across the UK, enquiries from start-ups remains a key driver of wider demand for flexible office space alongside growing corporate demand. The diversity of interest remains one of the biggest strengths of the sector, with all types of businesses, big and small, from tech to legal, embracing the use of flexible office space within their real estate portfolio.”
Nationally, there is also a clear trend of a shift in expectations from members and a high proportion of demand has been driven by those who are not satisfied with their current space. In London, Workthere notes that this is particularly evident; the proportion of companies in the capital searching for new space having been dissatisfied with their current premises has doubled year-on-year from 4% to 8%.
Jessica Alderson, global research analyst, Workthere, explains: “We have observed over the last year that occupiers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to what they expect from their offices; value for money has become paramount in a sector which sees a high number of new entrants into the market.
“Compared to 10 years ago, companies now have such a variety of different providers to choose from and, as a result, can afford to move on or be more picky when it comes to finding their perfect office. The competition in the UK markets goes from strength to strength as new providers, including landlords, enter the market whilst existing providers up their game.”
Manchester reported a jump in average monthly price per private office desk cost of 8% from £346 in 2018 to £372 in 2019. In contrast, London saw a decrease of 5% from £662 to £627 yoy, predominantly driven by an increase in providers taking space and greater competition in the market.