London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce

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Developers in London are revamping office spaces to suit the post-pandemic workforce, a survey showed on Monday, as weakening demand for workspaces poses a major concern in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

New construction starts have jumped by a fifth in the six months ended March to 3.1 million square feet, Deloitte’s London Office Crane Survey showed, with 56% of the pipeline expected to involve an extensive upgrade of existing office stock.

Lockdowns since early last year have forced millions of people to work from home, but easing restrictions are driving companies to chart a return with less hot desking, more room and better health regulations.

“Occupiers’ needs are shifting and buildings that meet their ESG principles while taking into account the welfare of their people are top of mind. Grade A, well-connected and eco-friendly office spaces, designed to maximise the benefits of new ways of working, will be the most desirable,” said Mike Cracknell, director in real estate at Deloitte.

The survey showed 4.5 million square feet of development has been delivered between October 2020 and March 2021, the highest level of completions in 18 years.

via Reuters