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Tesco to transform unused areas into office spaces

Image CC credit: osde8info – flickr

Supermarket giant, Tesco, has partnered with flexible workspace provider, IWG, to turn unused store space into office spaces.

Tesco’s Extra Store in New Malden will be the first site to offer work spaces to both businesses and individuals from mid-May. The stores 3,800 sq ft upper mezzanine level will offer 12 OpenDesks, 30 co-working spaces and a meeting room.

Head of Strategic Partnerships at Tesco, Louise Goodland commented: “We are pleased to be working with IWG to offer customers the chance to work more flexibly from their local Tesco.
“We are always looking to serve our customers and communities better and we will be interested to see how they respond to this new opportunity.”

Founder and CEO of IWG, Mark Dixon said: “For several decades we have been at the forefront of hybrid work, empowering people to work more productively and conveniently.

“People don’t want to spend hours commuting everyday and instead want to live and work in their local communities.

“A Tesco Extra in a suburban location, in the middle of a vibrant local community, is the perfect location for flexible office space.”

IWG says it is looking to add 1,000 new locations to its global network throughout 2022, as the demand for hybrid working increases with other new locations across South London to include Twickenham, Battersea Power Station and Sutton.

In response to the partnership between Tesco and IWG, Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO at workplace technology company Freespace, commented: “We have seen how some organisations are becoming ‘multifunctional’ and open for longer hours, which is good news for the retail and hospitality outlets in the nearest proximity. People visiting these offices are rarely working the basic 9-5 anymore. In some cases, they come in early and finish early. In others, they come in later and leave later. Over the course of the day, the duration of footfall naturally increases as buildings are open for longer to accommodate these different working patterns.

“In terms of becoming multifunctional, we’ve seen on the high street how, for example, hairdressers become bars in the evening. Businesses are now utilising similar tactics by offering additional services in their commercial space. It’s a matter of right-sizing or optimising the office conditions so that teams and individuals can maximise their time in the office, but then looking at how to enhance this further in a completely different way. Organisations are thinking more innovatively – and this is good news for the communities surrounding them.”

Andrew Mawson of global consultancy, Advanced Workplace Associates added: “As the 9-5 models of working give way to more hybrid models, the way organisations consider office space will have to change. The days of desk ownership are done. Offices are expensive fixed costs that generate large amounts of carbon. If they are not adding value they’ll be jettisoned.  

“Pre-pandemic, offices were poorly utilised with a traditional desk being only occupied 60 per cent of the time it was available between 8am and 8pm in a normal week. I expect to see organisations innovating to use office space in a more efficient manner to release unused space and time for monetisation. Large occupiers with an overhang of office space will need to look to a variety of innovative models in a market in which the atomic size of an organisations office footprint might be as little as 30 per cent of its pre-pandemic need.”

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