The new centers will open across North, South, and East London over the next few years.
IWG, the flexible workspace provider and owner of Regus and Spaces, has signed three new franchise cluster agreements to bring a total of 15 new locations to London over the coming years.
Signed with WG1 Offices Limited, Pluto Workspace, and Seedspace, the deals will address a demand for flexible workspace in the U.K. capital; IWG recently reported a rise in demand of over 100 per cent in suburban hotspots like Barking, Hemel Hempstead, Ealing, and Chiswick in Q1 2021.
“The past year has seen the entire world take on the largest flexible working experiment and now, people want to hold on to the best parts of working close to home,” said Julian Chambers, head of franchise at IWG – UK & Ireland. “Gone are the days when professionals wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a 2-hour commute during rush hour. What we are seeing is a permanent shift to how and where we work.
“The demand for flexible workspaces shows no signs of slowing, not just in London but across the U.K. There’s a huge opportunity for franchise investors to tap into this and be a part of the remote working revolution.”
North London’s expansion will be helmed by WG1 Offices Limited, with new locations stretching from Bethnal Green to Camden. WG1 is led by CEO James Wright, who has an extensive background in commercial property financing and investment.
“With working from home now firmly part of the norm, some believe that the office as we know it is dead but in fact, it’s flexing, and we need to adapt with it,” said Wright. “Whilst headquarters will still have their place as a hub for meetings and collaboration, desk-based tasks can be completed much closer to home and in flexible locations. We’re excited to focus on North London in particular as this is where we’re seeing a rise in unmet demand amongst young professionals.”
South London, meanwhile, will be developed in partnership with Pluto Workspace; stretching from Wandsworth across to Greenwich. Five new centers will be opened under the guidance of Kashyap Pindoria, MD of Pluto Workspace.
“Property investment is a real passion of mine and I’d never considered exploring franchising, until now. The pandemic has completely changed the face of commercial property and already, businesses are re-evaluating their city center headquarters and are looking at solutions that will offer staff a shorter commute,” said Pindoria. “It’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere and knowing the number of professionals who commute into the city from South London, the demand for workspaces outside of Zone 1 will only continue to grow.”
And last but certainly not least, East London is set to be developed by Seedspace – specifically, from Canning Town to Dagenham.
“Unlike industries such as hospitality or travel, the business opportunity around flexible workspace has prospered in the last year as a result of changes to how we live and work,” said Manjit Singh, MD at Seedspace and winner of Franchisee of the Year at the 2017 London Business Awards.
“The surge in demand for IWG centers in outer London really does show that demand is there for high-quality office space closer to where people live. I’m excited to share what we have planned for East London and Essex over the next few years.”