The conversation around the return-to-office has moved on significantly in the last few months. Hybrid working is no longer an alternative workplace strategy, but instead the norm for businesses across the world. And with employees seeking clarity on what’s expected of them in this new world of work, it’s crunch time for many businesses.
MEETING THE CHANGING DEMANDS OF THE HYBRID WORKFORCE
Instead of asking why people aren’t coming into the office, businesses are asking what makes the workplace worth visiting – and for many, that means moving away from the office of old and pairing flexible working with a managed workspace solution. Managed offices are a relatively recent arrival to the flexible working conversation, but with the changing habits and expectations of the workforce post-pandemic, the solution is leading the way in helping businesses navigate a new approach to work. As a workspace solution, it combines the simplicity of a serviced office or coworking space with the privacy of a conventional lease. It’s a bespoke space that can be tailored to a business’s exact specifications and includes day-to-day management and a full range of services to provide tenants with a hassle-free office experience.
Whether reducing office space or finding a new home for a growing team, the pandemic has placed the office at centre stage. Businesses are now actively seeking functional, adaptable, and unique spaces which reflect their identity, values and helps the teams thrive in the new world of work. In the last 4 years, (including 2 years in the heart of COVID), we have ‘kitted’ out and now manage over 200k sq ft of office space across London – with spaces ranging from 800 sq ft to 17,000 sq ft. This is a clear testament that managed office space is becoming a preferred choice across businesses of varying sizes and requirements.
According to recent research, London is already the second most expensive office market in the world (c.£203 per sq ft per annum in the West End). Materials and supply chain disruptions have increased fit-out costs by c.30% in London. Managed office solution providers like Kitt allow tenants to spread this high cost of ownership across the length of the term. Furthermore, the complex leasing process is simplified, and move-in times are shorter than a traditional design-build cycle. These factors help businesses to navigate the economic uncertainty driven by inflation and reduce up-front Capex. All this, while having the benefits of culture and identity in their private, managed workspace.
CONNECTIVITY AND CULTURE FOR HYBRID WORKING
The initial transition to remote working had a negative impact on workplace culture, and many businesses are still playing catch-up. Workspace now must facilitate connectivity while simultaneously empowering teams to do their best work. With a managed office, businesses can create that environment. At Kitt, you can work with our expert designers and strategists to determine what it is you want from your workspace and create a space that is totally unique to the business. We’ve found that giving teams that space to thrive by offering turnkey convenience is a huge benefit to business leaders navigating hybrid work, because they can focus on the things that matter. The biggest danger for businesses right now is not taking the time to get hybrid working right, and a large part of that - beyond the workplace strategy itself - is building an office that gives employees the tools they need to work effectively and a space to reconnect with colleagues.
Download our latest edition of The Occupier Q2 2022, which features the full interview with Uncommon plus another exclusive interview with Kitt.
The Occupier provides insight into recent office market dynamics for central London, with a focus on workplace transformation and the new purpose of the office. Click here for the full report.