According to the latest research from Workthere, flexible office occupancy levels in London reached an average of 90% in H222, which represents a 71% year-on-year increase.
Flexible office operators in the UK regional markets have also seen occupancy levels climb from 68% at the end of 2021, to 88% in H2 2022. The flexible office specialist has seen this increase in demand reflected in its own UK enquires which are up 72%, and 158% higher than pre-covid levels.
Cal Lee, global head of Workthere, said: ‘The recovery that we have seen in the flexible office sector since 2021 has been phenomenal and has predominantly been driven by occupiers looking for quality, flexibility and a diverse workspace that can meet the needs of their talent base. We have seen enquiry levels increase from new businesses as well as large corporates reflecting strong demand at both ends of the spectrum.’
Workthere’s research also shows that the increased demand for flexible office space has resulted in upward pressure on desk prices with the average cost of a private desk up 24% to £549 (€622). This is reflected in both London and the regions which show a respective rise of 27% (£674) and 37% (£416) in the second half of 2022, compared to the same period during the previous year. Workthere noted that this pricing is indicative of how much more limited the stock is in the regions compared to London.
Lee added: ‘The continued rise in demand for flexible office space has resulted in good quality stock in particular becoming more constrained as occupiers contest for the best space.’
‘This has also generated more competition in the market with an uplift in desk prices and a decrease in discount levels from providers. As we enter a period of more uncertain economic times, it is encouraging to see a sustained appetite for flexible office space across the UK from a wide range of occupiers. It also certainly opens up opportunities in the market for expansion and consolidation as the flight to quality continues.’