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Space per person currently ranges from 12-15 m2, up from 8-10 m2 in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
CONCLUSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR OFFICE DEMAND
There are clear, growing trends which will impact office space demand across Europe in the future.
Overall implications for office demand
When considered in relation to the other major driver of office space demand – working population growth – we can gain some understanding of whether the combination of these factors will lead to a decline or increase in the demand for office space.
To start, let us make some assumptions clear in this analysis. The analysis assumes that as of 2012 the amount of space provided per person is 9m2, for an office comprising 200 staff. This equates to an office environment of 1,800 m2. So, if we look ahead to 2030, what is the likely scenario, using the table opposite as a basis for calculation.
Put simply, even though the main office-based population is set to shrink by almost 25%, the increase in the amount of space per person will mitigate against this erosion in office space demand.
Overall the message is that we do not necessarily believe there will be a significant change (fall) in the amount of space required for traditional office use, despite a fall in office-based employment.
There will, however, be a great deal of change in how office space is used and configured. Given the effect on the bottom line of reducing rental outgoings, there will be increasing pressure to utilise technology and other flexible office solutions to cut the regular rent demand whilst keeping core staff happy, motivated, productive and wanting to come to work. Amidst ever more competitive labour markets, having the right workplace strategy will be key to a company’s future success.
For developers and landlords, having the right type of space which can accommodate changing layouts and needs and provide the sustainable building solutions which occupiers and investors are now demanding will be paramount to the success of an office portfolio.