A need for flexibility, rapidly evolving technology and a shift in working culture are just three of the key factors currently fuelling the rapid upsurge in popularity of the serviced office, co-working and desk-sharing scene, especially for prestigious areas like Mayfair and St James’s in London known for the highest rates on average.
Worldwide, around a third of flexible office spaces are dedicated to co-working. In London alone, the figure is 20 per cent, where the likes of prime locations such as Mayfair are experiencing very high demand.
The small enterprise, start-up, sole trader and freelance communities are all embracing the benefits of co-working and serviced office spaces, notably the limited financial investment needed to acquire an address in a location that would usually be out of bounds under a traditional commercial lease.
The UK is home to the largest serviced office market in the world, with London the hub of the industry. Providers are growing in numbers to meet demand. Top UK names include The Office Group, WeWork and IWG (formerly Regus).
Statistics released between 2018 and early 2019 suggested a trend towards flexible, pay-as-you-go office space. In 2017, there was a 150 per cent increase in serviced office take-up in the UK, backed by a prediction that the flexible office space sector would grow by up to 30 per cent per year and another suggesting that the market could be worth as much as £126 billion by 2025.
The market is clearly maturing, and no longer considered a poor relation to the traditional office space sector.
So how will the face of the serviced office and co-working industry change as we enter a new decade? Let’s take a look.
Closer industry focus
Co-working appeals to anyone who tends to work alone. Whilst they enjoy running their own businesses or working for themselves, these are people who crave the social aspects of working in a team environment. They will also be innovators with a penchant for collaboration, which is precisely why more and more co-working space providers are starting to actively encourage collaboration by specialising in a particular industry such as the creative or financial sectors.
The idea is to bring like-minded businesses together so that they can network, feed off each other and help each other grow through a shared industry culture.
As the ‘Twenties’ get underway, it is predicted that co-working spaces will no longer be solely the choice of the freelancer or start-up. Larger organisations are starting to see the benefits of making use of shared serviced offices, where they can bring smaller, more focused teams closer together, boosting creativity and productivity in the process.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) will enhance workspace management in 2020. With the demand for efficient and pleasant co-working and flexible serviced spaces set to experience demand in the coming year, so too will the need for spaces kitted out with cutting-edge technologies.
Co-working and serviced office providers are set to invest more in IoT technology, transforming them into smarter spaces buoyed by the likes of synchronised calendars, interactive dashboards, digital sign-ins and environment control. Co-workers will enjoy a seamless experience, an enjoyable and pleasant place to work and exceptional convenience.
2020 is set to see growth in automation, leading to a new look and feel to shared workspaces and serviced offices in general. Co-working spaces will be designed around the tech-savvy millennial generation which has come to expect smart controls as standard.
Climate and lighting will be controlled by smart sensors for a more consistent air quality, and remote automation will relay to managers which locations are the most popular, and which are in need of improvement. Automation will reduce the need for human intervention in managing bookings, attendance and WiFi for example. Access control will be managed remotely too, with smart keys allocated to user’s smartphones ahead of their arrival at the venue.
Sourcing Serviced offices in Mayfair with help from Mellersh & Harding
For serviced offices Mayfair is one of the most sought-after locations in London. It is a prestigious district with the ability to provide upcoming businesses with a prime London address.
Specialist advice and in-depth knowledge is available from the dedicated team at Mellersh & Harding. We offer an extensive portfolio of commercial property, so please do not hesitate to get in touch on 020 7522 8500 to discuss your individual requirements.