Flexible working slams new office build
Flexible working is impacting new office construction volume in the UK. There were just 2,300 new office building application approvals last year, down 56% from 5,200 in 2007/8, reports Lendy.
“Recent innovations, such as shared workspaces and cloud-based co-working platforms, has reduced the need for employees to have their own dedicated workspace,” says Lendy.
Retailers are also looking to take advantage of the growth of flexible working and flexible workspaces. Last month, Debenhams was reportedly in talks with leading flexible-office provider WeWork about taking over space in its 240 department stores. The retailer has less need for physical stores with the growth of e-commerce.
WeWork is set to become London’s largest private tenant after signing a number of new leases at the start of this year.
Low levels of bank lending to property developers has also hamstrung the construction of new office buildings in the UK. In December 2013, more £34bn in lending was outstanding from banks to property developers, but this slumped to only £14.8bn in December 2017.