IWG reports increase in UK workspace visits as hybrid working takes hold | Commercial property | Daily News Byte

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The return to the office after the pandemic lockdown gathered pace in 2022 as hybrid working took hold in British businesses and employees moved to desks in suburban locations, according to figures from workspace provider IWG.

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

Footfall at the company’s flexible workspace has increased 25% since June as office-based workers congregate more often during the work week.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays remained the most popular weekdays for employees to work from the office, the IWG found, and visits doubled on these two days from January to November. Workers often finish their work week at home and do not go to the office on Fridays.

The cost of living crisis has led employees to choose to work from office buildings closer to their homes to save on travel costs, the IWG found.

Suburban locations are one of the company’s fastest-growing locations, and it says demand for workspace away from busy city centers will increase by more than a third (36%) to 2022.

According to the IWG, Bolton and Cardiff (both up 190%), Hemel Hempstead (140%) and Chelmsford (112%) were among the places with the biggest increases in footfall. Smaller towns and cities in the south-east of England also performed well, including Guildford, High Wycombe and Slough.

Most UK businesses have introduced some level of hybrid working since the pandemic, and official figures from earlier this year showed that most workers intend to continue splitting their time between home and office post-Covid.

IWG founder and chief executive, Mark Dixon, said: “Business leaders are confident that hybrid working offers a significantly reduced cost base as well as the ability to attract and retain the best talent.”

Predicting hybrid working to gain further momentum in 2023, Dixon said hybrid working “allows colleagues to collaborate individually to drive innovation and new ideas”.

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

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