February 27, 2024

Commuter Towns Positioned for Economic Boom with Hybrid Working Surge

Commuter Towns Positioned for Economic Boom with Hybrid Working Surge22 December, 2023:  New research from IWG, the world’s largest provider of hybrid working solutions with brands including Spaces and Regus and Arup reveals a significant economic shift poised to redefine  commuter towns bringing greater opportunities. Evaluating the impact of hybrid working on local economies in both the UK and the U.S., the study predicts additional jobs, heightened local spending, and a redistribution of economic activity in commuter towns. With long commutes increasingly a thing of the past and hybrid working now standard for up to 40% of all workers, the research suggests there has been a surge in the workforce of commuter towns as hybrid working allows people to work closer to home, with a potential increase of presence of office workers of up to 175% in the UK and 60% in the U.S. over the next 20 years, compared to pre-Covid levels.

If IWG and Arup’s figures are applied to the whole of the U.S. and the UK, it would suggest that local GDP could grow by up to 3% and 6% respectively in smaller communities, because of changing working and migration patterns. The demand for flexible workspaces is on the rise, aligning with the global shift towards hybrid working. The report emphasizes the potential for India to experience economic revitalization in suburban and commuter communities, with IWG’s continued global expansion reflecting the increasing demand for flexible workspaces, a trend that could extend to towns and cities across India.

Demand for co-working spaces to rise

Hybrid working offers employees the flexibility to choose where and how they work, which is highly valued by workers.. In the UK, previous research by IWG found that 72% of hybrid workers said they would only consider new jobs and roles that allowed them to base themselves at workspaces closer to home for part of the week.

Recent research by IWG and Arup (Hybrid working and changes to where people live and work, 2022) showed that hybrid working has already led to significant movement. This report confirmed that around 30–40% of all workers on both sides of the Atlantic work in a hybrid schedule during the week, a level which has remained stable since the start of 2022, suggesting a permanent shift.

As a result of this movement, demand for co-working and office space in towns may rise significantly. The new report outlined the potential need for additional office space to accommodate this evolving work landscape, projecting between 57,000 and 180,000 sq. ft in the average U.S. commuter town and 39,000 to 135,000 sq. ft in the average UK town by 2043 may be needed to meet the additional demand from hybrid workers.

Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG commented Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG commented: “The migration to hybrid is one of the most important forces at play in the world today as workers increasingly embrace the opportunity to work locally, bringing significant opportunities to the economies of local communities as well as creating a better work-life-balance for employees.

Harsh Lambah, Country Manager and Vice President- Sales, IWG: “The shift towards hybrid working not only transforms the workplace but revitalizes suburban and commuter communities, presenting unprecedented economic opportunities.” Hybrid working is radically reshaping the geography of work.

This latest research highlights that it is having a profound and lasting impact on the make-up of communities and the geography of towns, and cities. Suburbs, dormitory towns and rural communities everywhere are being revitalized and this trend will continue to accelerate over the coming years.

Matthew Dillon, Director, Arup added: “Our work has shown that embracing hybrid working in commuter towns can help breathe new life into local centres.  And longer term, hybrid working could also benefit major cities, by giving firms access to wider labour markets, and freeing up capacity to allow for economic growth.”

The report stresses that gains to commuter towns will also provide new opportunities for major cities, as they evolve to meet changing needs of workers in the hybrid age. The reduction in demand for traditional office space in city centres will also allow those spaces to be reimagined and regenerated for leisure, housing and other purposes, with the potential to revitalize the areas and improve infrastructure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Ashok Leyland wins order for 552 Buses from Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation
Next post Suzlon secures a repeat order of 193.2 MW from The KP Group in Gujarat