With further lockdown measures announced, will we see the arrival of ‘pop-up’ offices to our high streets?
With the threat of further lockdowns looming, the road ahead is far from clear, but the need for professional support for landlords to help navigate future challenges is becoming more apparent.
C-Suite executives are awakening to new operating methods, such as the “hub and spoke” concept, allowing employees to work from either a city hub or strategic spoke location.
For many business bosses the abandonment of a traditional headquarters has obvious appeal, offering the dual incentives of staff contentment and a boost to their bottom line, as some care less for the need of increased square footage in expensive central locations.
Indeed, on a grander scale, the balk at the back-and-forth of commuting has prompted a reimagining of urban existence, with the idea of the “15-minute-city” – complete and connected neighbourhoods where work and life’s necessities can be found within a short walk or cycle ride from home – being mooted by politicians internationally as the future of town planning. Such a migration to regional offices would undoubtedly be welcomed by property owners in these areas and deliver a much-needed tonic to the nation’s ailing high streets.
In addition to injecting further footfall for local businesses, is there potential for food and beverage outlets to repurpose parts of their own premises to cater for home or spoke workers? It is not uncommon for coffee shops, for example, to be used for ad-hoc meetings or quiet corners in which to respond to emails. Could access to drop-in office space, premium internet connections and privacy zones be added to these retailers’ menus? And will the new planning rules announced this month, which allow a building to be used flexibly by having a number of uses taking place concurrently or at different time of the day, lead to the arrival of “pop up” offices on the UK’s high streets?
Watch this space!