Finding London Office Space: The Changing Face of Commercial Areas

Deciding on the right London location for your office is one of the single most important factors in supporting the future growth of your business.  Considerations such as budget, location, accessibility and attracting the right workforce will be top of mind, plus whether you should locate yourself alongside competing businesses.

Sectors clustering in specific geographical locations isn’t anything new; this has developed naturally over many years. In London, Mayfair is known as a traditional home for hedge funds, Soho houses many creative and advertising agencies and numerous legal professions reside in Temple.  For these, and many other businesses, selecting an area common to their industry provides reassurance and often makes economic sense. However, new ways of working, transport links and emerging sectors are changing the faces of traditional business districts.

We have seen growing companies being priced out of their traditional stomping grounds and run-down areas being re-generated. Fast growing industries, such as tech, have spawned new business boroughs, whilst new transport links are opening up areas that were simply inaccessible before to both businesses and their workforce.

With this changing landscape in mind, what should companies be looking for when it comes to location? We look at some of the current trends:

Although The City is still dominated by the financial services sector, new office space, refitted buildings and the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Line mean that it is now attracting other industries.  The City Statistics Briefing, published by The City of London Council last year, reveals that around 1,200 start-ups move into The City each year. Thirteen per cent of these are in the information and communications industry, like Momentum Design Lab, an international digital design agency that chose The City as it’s London office.

Silicon Roundabout has a reputation as London’s tech centre, but supply and demand and a lack of available offices means many are moving to locations such as Kings Cross and Paddington.  These areas are quickly becoming a hub for many of London’s technology firms. Rumour has it that Facebook is planning to move its UK headquarters to Kings Cross – they’d be in good company with Microsoft and Google just down the road.

Up and coming locations should be an attractive proposition for some. Aldgate and Whitechapel are being re-generated at pace, with growing companies like global construction firm ISG and Uber already in situ. According to CityAm the area is also attracting tech firms that would previously have chosen Old Street, and even larger corporates are being tempted away from The City.

London’s commercial areas are evolving at a rapid pace, and the initial stage of any office search is often the most important – we work with businesses to take the time to develop a brief and then provide advice on the merits of each option. You need to understand the distinctions and implications of each area, keeping an open mind at all times. The obvious location may not always be the right location!