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Desk prices see recovery as demand for flexible office space up 82%, according to Workthere



The average cost for a private desk in flexible office space in the UK reached £443 in 2021, which is a 14% increase on the figure reported for the previous year according to Workthere. Whilst still down on the 2019 desk price of £529, the flexible office specialist anticipates desk costs to continue to recover as demand levels increase at pace for flexible offices. Workthere also reports that the regional markets have seen a quicker recovery in pricing compared to London with a 30% increase yoy to £304 per private desk, compared to a 2% (£510 per private desk) rise in the capital, albeit this more a reflection of the maturity of this market.

In its latest Flexible Market Snapshot, Workthere reports that it has seen its enquiry levels up 82% on pre-pandemic levels, driven predominantly by occupiers previously working from home and from occupiers wanting to take temporary space, where enquiry levels rose by 170% and 117% respectively. Workthere also notes that 13% of demand came from companies entering the UK market for the first time, reflecting the growing strength of the sector to overseas occupiers.

Jack Williamson, head of Workthere UK, comments:

There is no doubt that flexible offices have regained, and even excelled, their pre-pandemic momentum with demand and pricing levels all moving in an upward direction. Our latest provider sentiment survey also reinforces this showing that 95% of respondents are optimistic about the sector over the next 12 months, which is supported by more consistent occupancy levels of 70% at the end of 2021.

Workthere’s research also shows that the average private office contract term has risen by 5% yoy to 12.4 months as a result of increased business stability and occupiers taking a more long-term view on their contracts. The average number of desks required by Workthere clients has also grown from 13 pre-Covid to 18 in 2021. This is primarily a result of larger companies adapting their real estate strategies to incorporate flexible space.

Jack continues:

The flexible office market has demonstrated its ability to adapt and recover in the most challenging of circumstances, which has reinforced its fundamental position in the UK office market. Moving forward, we expect it to gain further traction and play a pivotal role in offering a complementary option alongside conventional office space.

Read our full market update report here.