Visits to UK workplaces increase as hybrid work rises, IWG reports | Commercial Property

The return to the office after the pandemic lockdown in 2022 has picked up pace as hybrid working takes hold in UK businesses and employees head to desks in the suburbs, according to workspace provider IWG.

The average number of visits to IWG’s more than 300 UK workplaces increased by 54% from January to November as more workers split their time between home and the office.

Foot traffic to the company’s flexible workspaces has increased 25 percent since June, as office workers gather more frequently during the workweek.

The IWG found that Tuesday and Wednesday remain the most popular workdays for employees to work in the office, with visits doubling between January and November. Workers are most likely to complete their workweek from home and skip the office on Fridays.

The IWG has found that the cost of living crisis is causing employees to choose to work in office buildings closer to home to save on commuting costs.

Suburban locations are among the fastest-growing for the company, which says demand for workspace away from busy city centers will increase by more than a third (36%) through 2022.

Bolton and Cardiff (both up 190 per cent), Hemel Hempstead (up 140 per cent) and Chelmsford (up 112 per cent) were the areas with the biggest increases in footfall, according to the IWG. Smaller towns in south-east England also fared well, including Guildford, High Wycombe and Slough.

Since the pandemic, most UK businesses have introduced some level of hybrid working, with official figures earlier this year showing that the vast majority of workers want to continue splitting their time between home and the office post-Covid.

Mark Dixon, founder and CEO of IWG, said: “Business leaders believe that hybrid work can dramatically reduce the cost base and enable the attraction and retention of the best talent.”

Dixon predicts that hybrid work will accelerate further in 2023, saying that hybrid work “allows colleagues to collaborate in person to drive innovation and new ideas.”

The IWG says it plans to add 1,000 new locations around the world over the next year, most of which will be in rural and suburban areas. In the UK, it recently opened co-working centers in towns and cities with populations between 10,000 and 30,000, including Chippenham in Wiltshire, Redhill in Surrey and Evesham in Worcestershire.

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