- A recent report from Workthere found that demand for flexible workspace is up 48% on pre-pandemic levels.
- Part of this increase is coming from pent-up demand from companies and individuals that didn’t renew their contracts during the pandemic.
- Workthere’s data points to a 19% increase in enquiries larger than 15 desks.
Flexible office specialist, Workthere, has reported that is has seen UK enquiries for flexible office space increase 48% on pre-Covid levels. The findings point to renewed appetite in the sector as the country eases out of pandemic restrictions.
According to Workthere’s data, part of the increased demand is coming from pent-up demand from companies and individuals that didn’t renew their contracts during the pandemic but are eager to return to their flexible workspace of choice now.
Interestingly, Workthere found that desk requirements were down slightly on H1 of this year vs H1 of last year. “The average number of desks required by our clients in H1 2021 was 10, this is lower than H1 of last year which was 13.”
While this could suggest that there are fewer large enquiries, this is not the case. Worthere data points to a 19% increase in enquiries larger than 15 desks. This aligns well with predictions that, moving forward, demand for flexible workspaces will be driven in large part by corporate clients.
So, why the drop in the average volume of requirements?
According to Workthere, there’s been a slight increase in the volume of enquiries for smaller requirements—1 or 2 desks. These requirements are coming from people who are tired of working from home and need a different workplace environment—according to data, these types of individuals accounted for 22% of requirements in H1 2021.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of people that lost their jobs during the pandemic have launched their own businesses, and there’s also been an increase in the number of people quitting their jobs to launch their own endeavors. These professionals have small space needs, which can also contribute to increased demand for smaller desk requirements.
Increased Demand Is Impacting Pricing
Workthere’s research has found that the increase in demand has resulted in upwards pressure on flexible workspace pricing. According to their data, the average cost per private office desk during the first half of the year at £431, which is 10.5% up on the same time last year.
While the price is still down from pre-pandemic levels, it’s a promising sign that the market will rebound sooner rather than later.
Cal Lee, Global head of Workthere, believes there is still time for prices to reach pre-pandemic levels:
“While the average cost for a private desk in the UK is still down on pre-Covid levels, we are seeing the early signs of recovery in the flexible office market where the uptick in demand has led to prices beginning to recover from the low of 2020 and there is still time for them to reach the levels seen before the pandemic. This is supported by the fact that our survey reports that daily occupancy levels have increased and are now averaging 52%, which is double that of this time last year, with the expectation of it rising to 68% by the end of July. This is extremely encouraging and, barring any further lockdowns, we expect this trend to continue.”