Companies looking for new premises in London are being forced to look to the east and west of the city after rising economic confidence saw the amount of office space taken in central areas of the capital rise 42% from 5.8m sq ft to 8.2m sq ft last year.
Even larger firms such as Ernst & Young and Societe Generale have relocated from the City and the Southbank to Canary Wharf as the search for space and more affordable rent becomes more intense.
Financial services companies were the biggest movers in 2014, according to a study by commercial property specialist Cushman & Wakefield, followed by media and technology businesses and the public sector.
“Vacancy rates are anticipated to be squeezed further in 2015, as prime rents continue to rise,” according to Cushman & Wakefield director Ben Cullen. “This will see a greater number of occupiers expand their search area to satisfy their office space requirements.
“As these central locations become more expensive, new submarkets to the west, such as Hammersmith and White City, may come to the fore over the next few years,” he adds.
Firms moving away from central London gain more than reduced rental costs. Research by BUPA reveals 85% of UK workers think their employer has a responsibility to look after their health and wellbeing. And 60% say they would be more productive at work if they felt happy in their place of employment.
This is why a growing number of companies are doing more to create a culture of positive health and wellbeing as a means of attracting talent, boosting efficiency and improving their bottom lines.
Chiswick Park, an 8,000-strong business community in west London, is an early pioneer of this approach. The estate management team operates a business model based on the idea that, if people enjoy work, they will be more productive and therefore benefit British business, shareholders, employees and even wider society.
Over the past 10 years, the business park has attracted some of the biggest brands in the world, including Pernod Ricard, Disney, Discovery, PepsiCo, Starbucks and Tullow Oil.
Graham White, chief executive of the Enjoy-Work management team, explains: “As well as helping people working on the business park achieve a better work-life balance by providing services such as prescription deliveries and vehicle maintenance, we offer the opportunity to learn new skills such as playing the guitar or a new language.
“We also allow people with a similar interest to share their experiences and learn from each other. A good example of this is our Human Resources Forum, which sees HR directors from across the park meet regularly to share best practice and discuss issues such as new pension rules and employment law.”
For more information about relocating to west London, visit business and office removals in Chiswick.