UK settles into three day office week

The UK’s workforce has settled into a three day office week as part of its transition to hybrid working, according to new data from IWG, the world’ largest flexible office and workspace provider.

IWG’s latest footfall data* shows that across the country, employees are favouring coming into the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with 23% more visits per day than on Monday and Friday. This comes as data from IWG’s national network of 300 workspaces reveals that footfall grew by 15% month-on-month in May, which constitutes a 36% rise since January. 

The increases suggest that hybrid working, with workers splitting time between home, a local office or workspace, and occasionally at a corporate HQ, has become the model of choice for post-pandemic office workers.

This transition to hybrid working has been led by a shift to a three day office week. IWG’s data shows Tuesday has been the most popular day to be in the office this year, closely followed by Wednesday and then Thursday. The trend is reinforced by the hospitality industry, whose leaders have said that Wednesday and Thursday evenings have become the new Thursdays and Fridays for drinking and dining out.

Growth in footfall has been consistent across all regions of the UK, was businesses seek greater flexibility in their office footprint in city centre areas, as well as providing their employees with access to locations closer to where they actually live.

The fastest growing city locations include:

  1. Birmingham (+ 39)
  2. Aberdeen (+28%)
  3. Exeter (+ 26%)
  4. London Fleet Street (+26%)
  5. Liverpool (+25%)

Suburban and rural offices with the largest growth include:

  1. Slough (+158%)
  2. Welwyn Garden City (+ 37%)
  3. Northampton (+ 31%)
  4. Croydon (+ 31%)
  5. Ashford (+29%)

IWG’s, whose brands include Regus and Spaces, biggest focus on expansion has been on suburban and rural areas across the UK IWG. Last year it saw demand for suburban office space increase by 29 per cent in 2021 as more people turn their backs on long daily commutes and instead chose to work flexibly in the heart of local communities.

Recent research** from IWG shows that hybrid working is beginning to gain parity with salary, pension and holiday as the key factors to consider when job hunting. Nine in 10 (88 per cent) workers said hybrid working was an important factor when looking for a new job this year, placing it alongside health insurance and group income protection (both 88 per cent) and ahead of life insurance (84 percent), unlimited holiday (76 per cent) and extended parental leave (71 per cent).

This is supported by data from Indeed, the world’s largest job site, which shows that year-on-year searches for the term ‘hybrid’ have increased by 6,531% in the twelve months up to the end of April, making it one of the fastest growing search terms on their UK website.

Mark Dixon, Founder and CEO of IWG said: “The shift to more flexible ways of working is undeniable when you see the data showing that UK workers are wholeheartedly embracing a three-day office week.”

“The data shows there is strong appetite to spend part of the time in an office environment, particularly local flex spaces, and that the era of long daily commutes is well and truly over. Employees want to continue spending more time with their family and friends and less time commuting on a busy trains.”

“The growing popularity of hybrid working amongst employees and businesses means workers now have the freedom and flexibility to choose a location to work from which suits their lifestyle and at the moment, UK office workers are choosing a mid-week fix.”

The number of employees visiting IWG’s network of approximately 300 locations across the UK steadily increased over the past few months, demonstrating an increasing demand for hybrid work solutions. In 2021 alone, IWG added over two million new customers to its global network of flexible workspaces.

Author: Editorial Team

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