Friday 22 Oct, Noon, Titanic Room: UK leasing team leaders meeting. Fifteen or so of us gather warily once a quarter. The barely hidden agenda consists of dissing rivals, boasting of our successes, excusing failures and general point-scoring with GBH’s head of leasing, normally chummy Brian.

Agent P

Today he has his serious face on. ”What’s this all about?” I hiss at Malcolm (Thames Valley offices). “Read the memo from research,” he hisses, pointing at a paper headed ‘Work from Home: Here to Stay’. “Bottom line,” he says, “tenant upsizing died with Covid. Downsizing is on every occupier’s mind. Those on long leases are starting to sublet.”

Order! Order! scowls Brian. “You’ve read that Brewin Dolphin scrapped plans to move into their spanking new HQ near St Paul’s and are now subletting. You’ll also have read endlessly of bigger tenants wanting to move into planet-saving offices with orange couches. But big or small, everyone wants LESS space. What you are not reading about is the tens of thousands of small office tenants who are determined to either cut their rent bill or cut space. It’s going to be the Next Big Thing, say research. We are setting up an SME Occupier Advisory Team. Any volunteers?”

I stare fixedly at the research.