We do not know is how deep this will go, but one thing we do know is that it potentially offers us all the opportunity of a lifetime.
Banks and blue-chip occupiers were already on the way out: 9m sq ft lost over the past nine years and 1m sq ft since the lockdown – no surprises there. The old guard is changing.
The news is not all bad. The new generation of entrepreneur, tech start-up or influencer – call them what you like – love offices!
They love being close to others, collaborating, co-working, hot desking, working together, and here is our opportunity.
They want to work and live in an exciting, thriving and high-paced centre of innovation and business.
The office is certainly not dead. This generation want to be in cities and they want to work from high-rise buildings because they are used to convenience and being sociable 24/7.
Canary Wharf is one such place I can see thriving in a few years if current trends continue in serviced offices and serviced living.
Not for the short term perhaps, but I see an opportunity to turn those 93 acres of office wonder into the world’s biggest co-working space.
It could be a tech hub to attract talent from across the planet, where people can live and breathe innovation.
So how do we, the property industry, achieve this? We need to be more flexible. We need to understand that things have changed.
The next generation pay for everything month by month, and they want flexibility and control.
The WeWork generation are now 30 to 40 years old and some of them run large and successful businesses; they are our future.
Change is happening, we just need to alter our mindset towards the tenant of the future, and fast.
Jonathan Ratcliffe, managing director, Offices.co.uk