In April, staff at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs started to return to their London offices, with many other businesses now also following suit. In fact, Estates Gazette’s Tim Burke recently reported that UK offices saw occupancy levels at almost 45% of the pre-pandemic norm in late April. The ‘great return’ is now well underway and, with our enquiries almost on par with 2019 levels, our customers, new and old, are chief amongst those refilling London’s streets.
Indeed, many are not just returning, but are also expanding their spaces in a bid to create the ideal post-lockdown hub where teams can regroup and collaborate after months of separation. We are also seeing proof positive of Knight Frank’s recent research that found 46% of firms are planning to improve workplace amenities post-pandemic; kitchens, showers and break-out spaces are being incorporated into private offices in our buildings, and in-office meeting rooms expanded to support effective hybrid meetings. We are even seeing customers increasingly hosting alfresco meetings on our outdoor terraces and seeking dog-friendly workspaces for pets acquired during lockdown.
Benjamin Disraeli once said that “London is a roost for every bird” and it seems that – post-lockdown in particular – he was right. Businesses are migrating back to their urban roosts, and we are ready to support them with their post-lockdown strategies.
In the coming weeks, we will share updates on the ‘great return’, including insight into how our customers are adapting, advice on how to reintegrate teams and special offers for our customers thanks to partnerships with local businesses.