Over the last 5 years the serviced office sector has seen a staggering level of growth. In 2015 the number of new business centres rose by 4% to over 2,300 across the UK. With occupancy levels at an all time high, growth across the sector is continuing in the first quarter of 2016.
There are high profile openings by one of the newest businesses in the flexible workspace arena, WeWork, opening two new centres in Paddington and the City as well as the continuing growth of market leader Regus in Ashford and elsewhere.
The flexibility that serviced offices provide has seen businesses from high growth sectors like Fintech, Business Consultancy and Recruitment take space right across the UK. As the economy moves cautiously forward in 2016 despite a number of developments like the Brexit referendum and the global economy wobbles in China and Brazil, these UK business sectors are out -performing the rest. Top of the pack is the ballooning Fintech sector providing new and transparent financial products in a market that has been tainted by the recent banking crisis.
- Fintech growth needs space that can grow with it
With the dramatic rise of Fintech as a sector since 2010, a significant number of companies are now featuring in the FTSE 250 and Forbes 500. This sector is a keen user of flexible workspace solutions across the UK, attracted by the easy in and easy out benefits that serviced offices and Co-working can provide. As companies go through rapid growth they seek out flexible solutions that allow them to keep a tight control of costs in the current volatile world economy.
Fintech businesses globally have seen an increased level of investment in the sector that’s five times higher than it was in 2010 when it first emerged. 2016 looks set to be the biggest year yet in the sector with new businesses emerging and increased investment.
- Flexibility is vital for Recruitment businesses
One sector that has seen its fair share of changes since the economic downturn in 2008 is the growing recruitment sector. With UK employment at an all time high in the last year, the latest unemployment figures show a fall of 60,000 in the number out of work between October and December 2015. There are now 1.69 million people out of work, according to the Office for National Statistics, with the total unemployment figure at 5.4%. This has been good news indeed for recruitment businesses keen to tap in to this growing number of available UK jobs.
One of the important aspects of managing recruitment business costs is looking for flexible solutions like serviced offices. Providing the ability to scale up or down, recruitment businesses have been important advocates for the flexible workspace sector for many years.
- Consultancy services flourish in the new economy
The significant rise of the business services sector has continued for some time. It can be no surprise that Lloyds Bank placed consultancy services in their top ten of growing sectors in last year’s growth report. Many of these businesses are using flexible workspace solutions like Co-working spaces so they can be close to their existing and future clients.
With many consultancy businesses made up from the three million self employed people in the UK, an important factor that supports their growth is the tight control they need to have on their business costs. Services like Co-working spaces provide consultants with a solution that allows them to work close to home helping reduce transport costs and improve productivity that can often suffer when working from a home office.
The flexible workspace sector continues to develop and grow attracting more businesses from high growth areas of the UK economy. As businesses look for even better value and tighter control on their costs, flexible solutions will continue to be vital to the sustained growth of these companies in the year ahead.