The demand for flexible workspaces in the U.K. is projected to rise dramatically in the coming years, and by 2025 a staggering 50 million square feet is estimated to be sought by occupiers annually.
According to the 2023 U.K. State of the Flex Market published by the Instant Group, 78% of landlords have seen a rise in inquiries for flexible office spaces over the past year. To meet these growing expectations, over half of U.K. landlords are gearing up to introduce more flexible workspaces within their portfolios in the next two years.
Even though the flex office space industry hasn’t fully rebounded since COVID-19, with demand reported to be still 11% below pre-pandemic levels, the momentum is still undeniable. London, often recognized as a major hub for flexible workspaces, continues to draw investment despite this slower recovery.
The survey, which included over 200 flex operators and landlords as respondents, also revealed that flex occupancy rates across the U.K. have remained stable at around 82% throughout 2023 — a night and day difference when compared to the U.K.’s traditional commercial office space market.
Businesses are prioritizing amenities to both retain and attract new talent, and are focusing on those when seeking office spaces. Instant reports that the U.K. has “experienced an 18% increase in the search for specific amenities during an office selection journey, the largest increase globally.” Sustainability is also becoming a focal point for workspace providers, with 63% of flexible workspace providers observing an increase in demand for sustainable buildings.
The rise of flexible workspaces in the U.K. is suggestive of the evolving needs and preferences of the modern workforce. As businesses and employees alike prioritize flexibility, sustainability, and amenities, the future of work is set to be more adaptable and responsive than ever before.