Offices are getting smaller – and that’s official. Figures show that business floorspace is shrinking at both a national and regional level, particularly in London. Average workspace for businesses in the capital has fallen from 58.7m2 to 44m2 in recent years.
At Thames Contracts, we are specialists in office refurbishments in Barnet, Stevenage, Watford, Hitchin and other locations across the London area. Here we look at some of the reasons for this change, and how we can help you make the best possible use of your office space.
Growth of Technology
The days of people working at large, heavy computers have long gone. Instead most offices use laptops, tablets and even mobile phones. This creates more physical space, so desks can become smaller, while filing cabinets have largely disappeared from the office floor, as there is less need to store vast quantities of paperwork.
This new technology also allows employees to become increasingly mobile, making it possible to eliminate some under-used desks or turn them into smaller workstations or shared spaces. In many cases employees don’t need to come into the office at all because they can work remotely from home.
Influence of the Millennial Generation
According to recent estimates, the Millennial generation – people who were born between 1980 and 2000 – will make up around half of the global workforce by the 2020s. These workers have grown up with modern technology, and they are completely at ease working at different locations within the office.
This has led to an increase in so-called ‘office interaction’ – put simply, people talk to one another more – and studies have shown that this benefits productivity. One side-effect of this approach has been the move towards more flexible, open-plan offices.
Changing the layout, increasing the use of hot-desking and allocating less space per individual worker means that as many as three times the number of employees can fit into the same overall space.
Due to fears over a possible economic downturn, companies may be less willing to take on new staff than in the past. Workforces have sometimes shrunk partly as a result of this, so businesses may not need as large a space.
Many companies, particularly in London and the south-east of England, are also taking the opportunity to cut the size of their rental bill or business rates by moving to somewhere smaller. Developers may also be less likely to build new premises without first talking to a prospective tenant, so that the space can be tailored to them.
Office Refurbishments from Thames Contracts
Thames Contracts carry out high-quality office refurbishment projects in Barnet, Watford, Welwyn Garden City, and many other areas in and near London. We will help you get the most out of your available space. We specialise in the use of glass partitioning, which can allow the same space to be put to many different uses, ranging from a staff breakout area to a high-level meeting.
One of our top priorities in any office redesign is space planning. We make sure that your choice of lighting, flooring, walls, fixtures and fittings fits in with your overall brief and is fully integrated. We manage the whole project from start to finish, removing all the difficulties of scheduling visits from plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople.
If you would like to know more about our office design services, follow this link, or call us on 020 8368 0045.