The Future of Office Space in Wokingham

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COVID-19 has forced businesses to revaluate how they use serviced office space. With the majority moving to large scale home working, it begs the question what will the ‘new-normal’ look like in terms of office space for small businesses? In this article we look at some of the trends during the transition to home working and give some insight into what the future holds for office space in a post-pandemic UK.

As we emerge from COVID-19 induced lockdown people are eager to get back to some semblance of normality. Whilst working from home served it’s purpose at a time it was very much needed, it has become clear that home working fatigue has set in and staff long for the social interaction the office environment provides. Whilst it’s certain that the return to the office will look different to pre COVID times it’s unlikely the demand for furnished office space will disappear.

Transitioning to working from home

Commuting to the office five days a week may seem like a distant memory now and whilst a large scale return to city centre serviced office space seems unlikely in the short term, it is expected we’ll see a phased return to UK Office Space in mid 2021.

Spontaneous breakout room collaboration has been replaced with more formal morning catch ups over video conferencing software and, whilst technology has been useful in facilitating home working, it’s no substitute for the face to face contact experienced in office buildings in the long term. The days of staff seated in rows of desks beside their team members where they could easily communicate with an informal chat over a coffee or a more formal face to face meeting in a meeting room look set to return in some capacity.

A recent survey of 145,000 workers worldwide by Leesman found that 28% of people who work from home were unable to collaborate on creative work. A collaborative workspace allows for the creative thinking that is so essential for businesses. Another study highlighted that only 25% of the UK’s workforce could work remotely for more than 2 days a week without it negatively affecting their productivity.

Not only does working in furnished office space encourage collaboration, it accelerates staff development. New starters that are physically surrounded by their more experienced peers are able to learn by osmosis, listening to office conversations and telephone calls as well as developing their professional networks which are essential for staff development and on the job training – something that has undoubtedly suffered as a result of the prolonged period of home working.

Albany House Serviced Offices in Wokingham boast recently refurbished office space for small businesses in Wokingham Town Centre with individual offices for up to 12 people. Breakout space for those informal conversations and meeting room / collaboration space is also available for up to 10 people.