22/07/2015

By Lora Thornton, Content Marketer, Ultimate

A recent survey carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that office space in the UK is declining. The availability of office space across the UK has declined for the sixth quarter in a row.

Part of the reason for this decline is the increase in property that is earmarked for conversion into residential space. Residential property can often be leased out at a higher rental rate compared to property for a commercial use.

In the RICS survey, one in five of the surveyors who took part said 10% of office space in London is now designated for conversion into residential space. Over half reported a growth in demand for office, retail and industrial space.

However, the demand for commercial space has risen across the UK with 32% of respondents saying that the availability of office and retail properties has fallen. So with the demand for commercial office space rising and availability falling how do you get around the problem?

Hot desking is one option. Hot desking involves fewer desks and a ‘mobile’ working ethos that means office workers don’t have a designated desk space. With hot desking you move around the office to where there is a desk space available. Hot desking in an office often means more interaction with other members of the office because you have to get up and move around rather than stay in the same place throughout the working week. The mobile working ethos can also encourage use of communal office areas such as breakout and eating spaces.

For some industries hot desking and communal spaces obviously won’t work. If hot desking isn’t a suitable option then working from home part time might be. If there are less employees in the office all at the same time then potentially a smaller space might work for a large company. If the entire work force isn’t in the office at the same time then that could solve the space issue. However, this would take a lot of planning and organisation to ensure employees are still working effectively out of the office at home. A more flexible approach to office space is certainly needed to work around the declining office space available in the UK.

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