Over the past 12 months, millions have started working from home, changing the commercial landscape of work and city life dramatically.
New data from Quotezone.co.uk, suggests that working from home is here to stay as demand for commercial office spaces drop by half. The data, which is based on a sample of over 11,000 commercial property insurance policies, showed a 49% drop in insurance quotes for office space in the UK, compared with the same data in 2019.
As the number of vaccinations increase and infection rates continue to go down, the UK is starting to see a way out of the pandemic. And while many aspects of lockdown life are likely to return to near-normal as soon as restrictions are lifted, there could be resistance to returning to the office as many workers have experienced the benefits of working from home.
According to data from Statista, 73% of office workers believe that they are more productive when working from home. This is not a surprising figure given the average UK commute was 58 minutes before the pandemic and many workers will be losing more than 2 hours a day when office spaces do re-open.
In contrast, the data also shows an increased demand for commercial property insurance for a number of businesses, showing early signs of what the commercial landscape could look like in the UK post-pandemic. The most resilient properties were the high street takeaways including fish and chip shops, Indian takeaways and Chinese takeaways. The number of insurance quotes for this type of commercial property increased by 4% in 2020.
Similarly, insurance quotes for B&B’s, guest houses and hostels also increased by 3%, and as the UK settles into its second summer of ‘staycations’, it’s very likely that spending the holidays closer to home will become a new British staple.
Founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson comments: “The data offers a glimpse into the post-pandemic commercial landscape, and it will almost certainly be different to life before 2020. For one, the data shows a big shift around office culture and continued home working could be a large step towards achieving a more balanced work life in the UK. It is also positive to see some industries growing even in the midst of multiple lockdowns, however, it’s important to remain vigilant with savings.
“According to Marsh’s recent report, commercial property insurance costs increased by 24% in Q4. If businesses do experience an increase when renewing their policy, it’s important they consider switching providers. Now is a challenging time for most businesses so it’s crucial to avoid unnecessary costs wherever possible.”