Office space in the UK – what will it look like in 12 months?

18th November 2021
Coming back to working in the office

With a large number of people now vaccinated, many organisations are planning what the next 12 months will look like for their office space.

For many companies, they face a situation they most likely never would have considered finding themselves in. The pandemic caused many on-site offices to go completely remote, and in doing so caused a rapid acceleration in the adoption of technological solutions that allowed staff to work effectively from home.

With many offices beginning to re-open, what does this mean for both the way we work, and the tools we use to work more efficiently and effectively?

Working from home bundle

In this article, we explore how office spaces are predicted to change in the next 12 months, and what that will mean for organisations and their staff across the country.

The future is hybrid

A recent survey from O2 Business of 2,099 workers highlighted that only 10% of UK adults want to go back to the office full time, and 32% would prefer not to go back at all.

Workers have seen a new dawn of productive ways to operate, and they are keen to continue the trend. Organisations quickly adapting to this new way of working will need to ensure their staff are fully equipped for the long term.

Leasing equipment provides businesses with an intuitive way to provide staff with the tech they need, wherever they may be. For those looking to employ the hybrid working way of life, this means access to the latest PC’s and Windows systems and Apple products, as well as laptops for remote access on the go.

A new workplace ecosystem

According to predictions from global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, the offices of tomorrow “will no longer be a single location, but an ecosystem to support flexibility, functionality, and employee well-being.”

Flexible working and hybrid working don’t necessarily equate to switching between a static office and a home office, flexible working will become just that – totally flexible.

Workers will look to have technology available that allows them to pick up their ‘office’, and move it wherever they need to, be that a coffee shop, library or another co-working space for example.

Cushman & Wakefield also estimate that 50% of the workforce will welcome and embrace this new workplace ecosystem. But what about the 50% who prefer the alternative, either fully remote work, or fully on-site work?

In order to retain staff and increase staff satisfaction, organisations will have to provide adequate equipment to cover the needs of staff if they choose to embrace a hybrid approach to a workplace ecosystem.

Flexi lease logo

Starbucks, for example, are making plans to practise what they have dubbed “hoteling”, where employees are able to reserve office space only when they need to collaborate with other members of their team.

Situations where staff will need access to technology while they’re on the move calls for a flexible leasing option. HardSoft’s PC and Laptop Leasing solutions are an ideal choice for hybrid teams, providing the latest hardware and software, when they need it, wherever they are.

Scaling up and down

While many still see the office as an essential part of business life, it’s likely that within the next 12 months, many organisations will need to scale up or scale down their staffing levels.

This in turn will change the requirement for office technology, with organisations seeing the need for rapidly changing levels of equipment.

Solutions such as Flexi-Lease are an ideal option for ensuring your organisation has access to the technology it needs as your team scales up, or scales down, with no additional costs.

What does it mean for larger businesses?

Start-ups and SMEs aren’t the only organisations forced to re-think their future office strategies. Olly Olsen, co-chief of The Office Group says: “The proportion of our client list made up of corporates with over 10,000 employees has trebled in the past year, proving that flexible working is definitely no longer just the preserve of nimble start-ups.”

D4T Windows devices offer for businesses

Larger businesses often require a more complex solution when it comes to sourcing their technology, so options such as Devices for Teams are particularly helpful when it comes to managing the lifecycle of multiple devices from a single source.

What does the experts say?

Gensler recently issues their report on how they see office space evolving in the future. They predict that:

Forbes claim that flexible leases on office spaces will be prevalent, which in turn is likely to herald in more organisations requiring flexible technology leasing.

The New Yorker reports that offices of the future will continue towards a paperless way of working, increasing the need for ‘virtual offices’ and shared digital spaces to quickly and efficiently share information. Having access to the latest technology that will house these developments is crucial, and equipment leasing allows organisations to access the latest technological updates, swapping out older machines for the newest models and software at any point throughout their contract.

It is generally accepted that while some industries need to run a full-time on-site office environment, for many businesses, staff expect flexibility.

Equipping your staff to work efficiently, be that in the office, at home, or a mixture of both is one thing that is sure to remain the same.

HardSoft allows you to do just that, with flexible leasing solutions to suit every business, giving you the freedom to access the tech you need, when you need it.