Brexit will speed up the demise of the traditional long lease and increase demand for flexible office space.
It will be years before the full implications of Brexit are known, but this uncertainty will make many occupiers reluctant to ever sign a long lease again. A preference for flexible working is increasingly becoming the norm, and it provides businesses with the agility they need to cope with unpredictable events such as Brexit.
Brexit could mean that foreign businesses start shunning the UK in favour of other European capitals, leading to a large increase in the supply of secondary office space. Many landlords and building owners will worry that they will be left with non-cash-generative empty buildings. However, building owners prepared to adapt their space to meet the needs of SMEs have nothing to fear.
Brexit matters less to many SMEs - they are more nimble and will continue exporting and operating regardless of Brexit. Also, many Citibase customers that take space in our business centres are traditional, domestic firms serving their local markets.
Small businesses always find a way to thrive, and shedding the inflexible long-term financial burden of a long-term lease in favour of flexible offices will be an essential part of their new survival toolkit. By working with flexible workspace providers, building owners can take advantage of the new economy and transform their empty buildings into vibrant hubs for agile small businesses.
Of course, long-term leases were dying out well before Brexit. The world of work has changed forever - Brexit is just another nail in the coffin for the long-term lease. But building owners may just find that it is a pretty significant nail.
Steve Jude, CEO, Citibase