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UK companies open offices outside city centres for hybrid working

Office building in London

UK companies open offices outside city centres for hybrid working

Over half of UK businesses have offices or working spaces outside city centres to adapt to hybrid working, a study has found.

IWG, the flexible workspace provider surveyed 500 companies.

It found 82 percent have adjusted their office space needs to accommodate more flexible work arrangements. 

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Specifically, 54 percent of companies now have office or co-working spaces in non-city centres and 38 percent have secondary offices in commuter towns.

Mark Dixon, IWG’s CEO, said: “It’s clear that the old ways of working, with a daily unproductive and expensive commute, are long gone.

“Businesses are realising that not only does hybrid working make sense for their bottom lines, it also benefits their workforces.”

Despite internal tensions over flexible working, productivity assessments indicate no significant change from the pre-pandemic era.

It contradicts claims that remote work would harm the UK’s productivity.

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The research also reveals 73 percent of companies have reduced office space expenses by downsizing in city centres. 

HSBC, for instance, has plans to move from its long-standing global headquarters in Canary Wharf to smaller offices in the City of London.

Due to post-pandemic hybrid working and cost-saving efforts, it has trimmed worldwide office space by 40 percent.

Big reduction in staff travel expenses

The study also highlights 36 percent of firms report reduced staff travel expenses due to adjusting office spaces for a flexible workforce. 

Mark Dixon said: “It’s encouraging to see that businesses are translating their hybrid working savings into real benefits for employees.

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“Not only does this help in the immediate term, with improved productivity and wellbeing, but it will also help them retain and recruit the best talent.”

To meet the evolving demands of remote and flexible work, Tesco partnered with IWG last year, to pilot office working spaces in select neighbourhood supermarkets

IWG reported record revenues and doubled profits in the first half of the year.

It expects the continued growth of hybrid working as a permanent fixture, citing a significant increase in lease agreements compared to the previous year.

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