UK corporate headquarters will shrink by 40% in the next few years

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In the past, the majority of companies would be headquartered in city centres, but this trend is gradually giving way to a “hub and spoke” model, where businesses will have smaller offices in suburban areas closer to where their employees live.

As a result, there is a rapidly growing demand for workspace in secondary cities and suburbs. According to their latest report, Instant Offices have identified which key locations businesses are looking to set up ‘work near home’ offices for their employees.

Key Benefits of a work near home office

Businesses and employees alike enjoy time-saving and cost-saving benefits when working closer to home in decentralised offices.

Companies could save around one-quarter of their rental rates, while employees could save more than 90 minutes a day in commuting time. For Londoners, this means a possible saving of £2,200 a year in commuting costs.

Top Up-and-Coming Work Near Home Locations in the UK

The home counties, like Surrey and Kent, are seeing a surge in workspace rental interest. A few key suburbs have been identified as the most likely regional locations for businesses considering the hub and spoke model.

  1. Aldershot: The suburban town of Aldershot is based in the Rushmoor district of Hampshire, and is famed as a hub of military history. Business in Rushmoor has been on an upward trend, with the number of active enterprises in the area rising from 3260 to 3945 between 2013 and 2019. The biggest industries in the area are IT and communication, followed by professional, scientific and technical occupations.
  2. Twickenham: Twickenham is the largest town in Richmond upon Thames, which has a reputation as one of the UK’s most competitive business locations. More than one-fifth of workers in the region are self-employed, and 93.7% of new Richmond businesses survive their first year. Key sectors in Richmond include business services, retail, creative industries and tourism.
  3. Redhill: This suburb is situated in the county of Surrey, where key industries include information and communication, electricity and gas, and arts and entertainment.
  4. Maidstone: Known as a hub of innovation in Kent, Maidstone is home to more than 7000 businesses, and local overhead costs can be up to 60% lower than those in London.
  5. Woking: This Surrey town has a strong economy and good support for startups. Woking is a short distance from London by train, and many international companies choose to have their headquarters in the town.

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

With 73% of Londoners living outside the central city, working at home instead of in a central office has plenty of advantages but also disadvantages to watch out for:

PROS CONS
Lower Expenses Isolation
More work flexibility Less face-time
No office distractions Distractions at home
Improved collaboration across multiple locations Risk of overworking
Lower rates  of absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ Risk of disproportionate work-life balance
Improved job satisfaction  

Commenting on the report findings, John Williams, Head of Marketing at The Instant Groups said: “Working closer to home in a spoke satellite office can help employees to enjoy the benefits of a WFH setup without the potential disadvantages. The hub and spoke model also helps employers to attract and retain top talent.

“As growth in the suburbs begins to outstrip demand in central business districts, we predict that corporate headquarters in city locations will shrink by as much as 40% in the next few years.”

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