SME demand for flexible office space almost triples in London


SME demand for flexible office space in London has almost tripled over the past six months since Brexit, according to new search data.

The data shows that the number of SMEs searching for office space with bigger headcounts – 15 desks plus, has increased by nearly three times since Brexit. In June 2016, searches by SMEs – 15+ headcount, accounted for only 8 per cent of searches on Hubble for flexible workspace in London but by January 2017 accounted for 23.9 per cent of all searches.

This follows a growing trend towards SMEs moving into the shared office space, with the supply of flexible workspace growing in London by 25 per cent over 2015/16, and a decline in demand for prime office space in London’s financial districts, with investment in central London offices reported to have fallen by a third year-on-year in the third quarter 2016.

CEO and Co-founder of Hubble, Tushar Agarwal, said: “We are being approached by more and more small, medium sized businesses that would have traditionally taken on a long-term conventional lease, but are opting for a flexible option instead where they have more control over their costs and the term they commit to. This is increasingly being seen as a hedge to the uncertainty of the London economy as Brexit unfolds, and SMEs navigate new rules around business rates.  

“It is also a characteristic of the evolution towards a more flexible commercial property market. We’re increasingly working with large international companies, including Jaguar Land Rover and Oracle, who want to use flexible working space for part of their operations to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within their teams.”