Workers flocked to co-working spaces and offices in commuter towns in March as staff chose to work locally rather than make longer commutes, data shows.
Flexible office space provider IWG said it had seen a 91% rise in attendance in Maidenhead in March compared with the month before, while other offices also saw big rises.
“The shift to more flexible ways of working in the heart of local communities is happening fast and is irreversible,” said IWG chief executive Mark Dixon.
“The data shows not only is there strong appetite to spend part of the time in an office environment, particularly local flex spaces, and that the era of long daily commutes is well and truly over.
“Employees want to continue spending more time with their family and friends and less time commuting on a busy train or stuck in traffic.
“The growing popularity of hybrid working amongst employees and businesses means workers now have the freedom and flexibility to choose a location to work from which suits their lifestyle.”
IWG’s data also showed that office attendance had grown by more than a quarter in High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Horsham, Woking, Uxbridge and Halifax.
It said that Wednesdays, up 33%, and Thursdays, up 32%, were the most popular days in March to head to the office compared with February.
The business said its data indicates workers are choosing hybrid working and splitting their time between home, a local office and occasional trips to head office.
The pandemic has led to widespread changes in the working patterns of office workers and many say they do not want to go back to the pre-pandemic status quo when it is over.
IWG runs the brands Regus and Spaces.