· Office space lettings have dropped by over 50% in the 1st Quarter, whilst sales of virtual offices have increased by 50%.
· The pandemic has fast-tracked the emerging trend of flexible and remote solutions.
Office space lettings have plummeted, whilst many businesses are taking to the virtual office, which has seen a 50% increase in sales this year.
With the global pandemic having enforced highly restrictive social measures, businesses are left with little choice but to adapt by adopting remote working solutions.
Although the trend towards virtual office and flexible working models had already emerged naturally, the effects of COVID-19 have hyper-accelerated this trend. The immediate result is that while the office space industry is effectively closed for business, the virtual office industry has been shuttled from the niche into the commonplace market.
Simeon G. Howard, founder of Your City Office, is well versed in these trends and recent developments:
“Having been in the virtual office industry since 2004, I’ve had an insider’s view of its steady approach towards becoming a commonplace solution. But since the invasion of the Coronavirus, the office space industry has already seen a massive drop in sales, with a concurrent and proportional increase in virtual office sales.”
“Furthermore,” continues Mr. Howard, “the consensus [on the pandemic] seems to be that it’s not going to be a short-term situation, which means a polarization of this trend could well be on the cards—anything from an 80% decline in office space and a 200% increase in virtual offices is certainly within the realm of possibility now.”
Given the unprecedented situation and the critical implications for the economy, Mr. Howard is positioned better than most to offer some advice to businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers who are trying to make the best of it:
“Many business owners now – off the back of having their workforce operate remotely and seeing that it’s working better than they anticipated – will initiate a major trend in companies downsizing their space and adopting flexible work environments—which spells enormous trouble for the commercial real estate industry. I would strongly advise landlords to acknowledge this reality and act accordingly, by pivoting their lease models and offerings to support this trend.”
In the midst of this business world reformation, Mr. Howard sees flexible office products, such as the virtual office, as being the perfect solution—not only to survive during this process but to adapt now to the future it is forging:
“The main advantage of the virtual office is that it gives your business the economic and operational flexibility it needs to survive and thrive in the rapidly changing world of today. By giving your company a professional business address along with a host of support services to assist it – such as a live receptionist and executive meeting rooms – there is simply no more cost-effective method to run and grow a business.”
“So even more now than before,” Mr. Howard continues, “a flexible working model is the ideal business solution for our uncertain times, and is one I wholeheartedly encourage individuals, start-ups and SME businesses in particular to embrace.”
In concluding his appraisal of the situation, Mr. Howard thoughtfully spins off of an ancient philosophical saying: “I like to say that, with virtual office, your business’ centre is everywhere and its circumference is nowhere—and what could be a more liberating model for these locked-down times?”
Your City Office Ltd is a global leader in virtual office and office space services, with offices in Mayfair London, United Kingdom and Newport Beach, California, USA.
Mr Simeon Gabriel Howard
Your City Office Ltd
Berkeley Square House