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Workspace says customer demand robust despite Omicron impact

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Bicycles are seen parked in front of an office building owned by Workspace in London
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(Reuters) -London-focused office-space provider Workspace Group said on Thursday customer demand has remained strong despite sector-wide concerns about the impact from the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the UK.

Office space providers including Workspace are limping back to recovery after being forced to realign their business models and strategies as tenants increasingly weigh in remote and hybrid working options or downsize spaces in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies exposed to office properties were pegged back further when the rapid spread of the Omicron variant brought back restrictions in several parts of the world.

"We are seeing strong demand for our space, with good levels of enquiries, viewings and lettings despite the renewed work from home guidance issued by the Government in December," Chief Executive Officer Graham Clemett said in the company's third-quarter trading statement on Thursday.

Workspace said utilisation, which calculates the physical usage of the office spaces by the tenants, has picked up in the first two weeks of January and is now at 43% of pre-pandemic levels, compared with 55% in November.

The company, which has some 3,000 customers and owns 40 million square feet space across 60 buildings in London, said utilisation had fallen following the work-from-home guidance issued by the government last month.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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