If anyone imagined that either Brexit or the pandemic was going to deter companies from setting up new head offices in London, they will have been very much mistaken.
This is according to the Evening Standard, which has revealed a number of major firms that have signed up to lease new office space in the capital since the first lockdown began in March last year. All this suggests there will still be plenty of demand for after hours office cleaning services.
It noted law firm Latham & Watkings is the latest to sign a major re-let, taking up at least 200,000 sq ft at the 1 Leadenhall building from 2026.
Another example is Harwicke Chambers, which has signed up for 2,100 sq ft of space at One Gray’s Inn and hopes to move in this summer, Covid permitting.
Its chief executive Amanda Illing told the paper that while some might be surprised by the move, staff feedback has prompted them to take this step.
She explained: We did a second workplace survey during the lockdown and rather than people saying they would stay away, on the contrary, they were looking forward to when they could come back together.”
Another law firm, Baker Mckenzie, is planning to move from its current offices into 280 Bishopsgate in 2023. Managing partner of the company’s London office Alex Chadwick said taking a “long-term view” of Covid-19 and the importance of working face-to-face with team members and clients underpinned the decision.
Other firms listed in the article as signing up for major new London office deals include design and engineering company Arcadis UK and Ireland, with chief executive Mark Cowlard saying the office still has a “significant role” to play despite the recent changes.
Shobi Khan the chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group, recently told the Financial Times he expects the docklands area to see a revival of office space hire once Coronavirus vaccines have been widely distributed and the nature of Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with Europe becomes clearer.