80% of businesses are seeking bike racks at work alongside an uptick in demand for South West locations.
New statistics released today have found that the main concern for London’s businesses post lockdown is whether employees can get to and from work safely. Also, in an encouraging sign for the City’s office market, 50% of businesses are already making enquiries into larger office space.
Collating data from client enquiries since May, The Argyll Club found that, whilst 50% of clients were looking for a larger space, 80% were seeking showers and bike racks, and 60% were in need of easy car parking. With Mayor Sadiq Khan’s StreetSpace initiative opening up London’s byways for more cyclists, businesses are taking advantage and listening to their employees’ desires.
Naturally, 80% of clients requested extensive cleaning regimes and 35% sought a flexible office workspace with an outdoor area – but further statistics showed that businesses were also looking to shorten or remove the commute entirely. Since May, there has been a 10% increase in demand for offices in Belgravia and Knightsbridge, as Londoners seek a place to work closer to the suburbs in the South West. Is a short cycle the new face of the London commute?
Priorities are changing. Before, businesses tended to focus on maximum desk density and communal breakout spaces when selecting a workspace. Now they are wanting larger offices that support social distancing combined with an easy access route that doesn’t rely on public transport links and their associated risks. As lockdown eases, many businesses are first focusing on providing safe travel to the office, rather than encouraging employees to return regardless of their commute.
The Argyll Club has responded to this client demand by offering secure bike storage, discount deals with local car parks and customising their serviced offices with private kitchens and showers.
Beth Hampson, Commercial Director at The Argyll Club, said: “There’s been a real shift in what people are looking for. Previously, our clients were often interested in how close our workspaces were to a tube station; now, they are asking about those that have Boris Bikes out the front, secure cycle storage and showers. In fact, all of our prime-location offices are no more than 200 metres from a Santander Cycle docking station, and most have shower facilities to help meet the demand for a more active commute.
“Already, people are reimagining their working lives in the city. What’s really interesting is that companies are clearly putting employee safety during the commute at the heart of their post-lockdown strategy. It’s the workspaces that work for a cycling or walking commute that are becoming our most requested, and it’s redefining what it means to provide an office in the city of London. Indeed, we’re fortunate that many of our workspaces benefit from outdoor areas, so clients can enjoy the fresh air while working as well as while commuting – we may even see an al fresco working revolution coming down the track!”