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London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce - Deloitte

London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce - Deloitte
London office market undergoes makeover to woo post-pandemic workforce - Deloitte   -   Copyright  (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html   -  
By Reuters

<p><body> <p>(Reuters) – Developers in London are revamping office spaces to suit the post-pandemic workforce, a survey showed on Monday, as weakening demand for workspaces poses a major concern in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs. </p> <p>New construction starts have jumped by a fifth in the six months ended March to 3.1 million square feet, Deloitte’s London Office Crane Survey showed, with 56% of the pipeline expected to involve an extensive upgrade of existing office stock.</p> <p>Lockdowns since early last year have forced millions of people to work from home, but easing restrictions are driving companies to chart a return with less hot desking, more room and better health regulations. </p> <p>“Occupiers’ needs are shifting and buildings that meet their <span class="caps">ESG</span> principles while taking into account the welfare of their people are top of mind. Grade A, well-connected and eco-friendly office spaces, designed to maximise the benefits of new ways of working, will be the most desirable,” said Mike Cracknell, director in real estate at Deloitte.</p> <p>The survey showed 4.5 million square feet of development has been delivered between October 2020 and March 2021, the highest level of completions in 18 years. In a sign of less speculative building, 59% of that was pre-let. </p> <p>The survey also showed that the share of Technology, Media and Telecoms (<span class="caps">TMT</span>) pre-lets in all space under construction increased to 40%, reaffirming the importance of the <span class="caps">TMT</span> sector in the London leasing market.</p> <p>Still, many companies have embraced work-from-home as a cost effective and flexible option that is here to stay, hurting demand for work spaces in London. </p> <p>The city’s developers anticipate new working patterns to reduce office demand on average by 10% to 15% in terms of square footage. </p> <p/> <p> (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)</p> </body></p>