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Demand for suburban offices rises as firms look to ‘hub and spoke’

·2-min read
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The biggest rise in demand is in locations in

Ealing and Chiswick

(PA Archive)" />

Demand for office space after the pandemic is growing strongest in suburban rather than central locations, according to new figures today. 

Data from serviced office giant IWG suggests that some employers are choosing a new “hub and spoke” model in the post-Covid era allowing staff to work closer to their homes some days of the week rather than always having to slog to the centre.

The biggest rise in demand is in locations in Ealing and Chiswick, where it has gone up 200 per cent, followed by Barking on 100 per cent and Harrow and Uxbridge with 67 per cent increases.

City centre locations have recorded falls in demand with Marylebone 23 per cent lower, Victoria down 17 per cent and Fitzrovia 11 per cent weaker.

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The figures come after the Standard revealed yesterday that two thirds of commuters would be happy to return to their work desks by June 21. However, there are still deep concern about the cost and safety of travelling on public transport.

Most employers expect a new pattern of “hybrid working” to emerge replacing the grind of a journey to central London. This will involve workers spending some time in their main office, some time in offices closer to where they live and also days working from home.

Figures from the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management this week found that interest in hybrid working is strong among younger workers. Its survey found that two-thirds of 18 to 24-year-olds admitted that not being offered flexible work patterns would cause them to look for a new job. 

Mark Dixon, chief executive of IWG, said: “Many businesses are embracing hybrid working, allowing staff to work either from home or closer to home at least some of the week. This allows employees to work flexibly and in a way which suits their lifestyle.”

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