Although Commercial activity is undergoing major changes due to the impact of technology and the Covid pandemic Guildford needs to manage change of use and maybe prepare for a future where Office Demand may increase!!
Mark Dixon CEO of real estate group IWG (That includes the flexible space company Regus) interviewed at the end of 2020 stated that:.
The hybrid ‘hub-and-spoke’ model of working is emerging as the preferred way ahead for many businesses, with a significant boost to uptake during the pandemic, says Dixon. As its name suggests, this involves more than one solution working in tandem.
First, people can work primarily at home, enabled from the centre by the technology they need to do their jobs and supported by regular communication, guidance and virtual meetings.
Second, when they feel the walls of home closing in, or need to be part of a physical meeting, they can travel a short distance to a local office or business centre close to where they live so they can interact with others.
Dixon went on to say that - “For several years, we have seen companies across the world begin to shift their operations to the suburbs and the towns where their employees actually live, helping to rebalance the economy by providing more opportunities for local communities and service businesses,”
“As a result, during the past two years in the UK alone, IWG has opened almost all its new centres in non-city centre environments. Today, we are seeing enquiries and demand for suburban locations across our brands, including Regus and Spaces, increase exponentially around the world.”
There is one other very important reason why the hybrid property model has been gaining so much support in recent years, and that is to do with the ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) agenda. Dixon explained - “Companies of all sizes see addressing the need for their people to commute to work as the single greatest contribution they can make to reducing their carbon footprint. They understand that by bringing work into the home, and into the heart of communities, they will immediately and significantly reduce the weight of traffic on roads and in cities across the world.”
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