Historically, offices and cities have always been closely associated. Before technology enabled people to work together while physically apart, it was sensible to have an office in the most central location possible to minimise the average commute. This, understandably, was most often a city.
Decades of commercial development meant that cities became hubs for office work, and that kind of infrastructure is self-sustaining. Since more businesses worked in the city, it seemed to make sense to base your business there, too. That’s where your clients, customers, and connections were.
But the times have moved on, and it’s now not as important where you work from. Phone calls, video-conferencing, and other applications of technology make it so that you can reach anyone, anywhere, practically at any time.
These technological developments are the main reason why the next frontier of workspace, which we’re seeing playing out in front of us, is less city-oriented. Sub-urban and rural workspaces offer a completely different experience, and we’re here to argue that it’s a better one.
Here are our thoughts on why an office or workspace outside of the city is the perfect choice for modern businesses.
The first and potentially most important point is that office leases or workspace membership costs are typically cheaper outside of city centres. Grade A office space in the City of London, for instance, costs around £75 per square foot. Just over 40 miles away, in Hampshire, a similar square foot will cost you an average of £45.
Saving money on office space means your business has more capital to spend on hiring, invest in growth, or build a strong financial safety net. In other words, it’s an extremely valuable proposition. This is arguably more true now than ever, with rising costs and economic instability making lower overheads appealing.
Cities are notoriously busy, hectic, and cramped. It’s in their nature. When land is valuable, as land in city centres most often is, less of it can be ‘wasted’ on space. That means that everything gets compressed – resulting in denser populations, busier public transportation, and smaller offices.
Offices outside of the city, whether suburban or rural have more room to explore the possibilities in. That often leads to non-urban workspaces being able to add more amenities, features, and facilities, without significantly driving the cost of occupancy up.
And, perhaps more importantly, offices in more rural areas, such as Worting House, benefit from something that no city centre office can replicate – nature! Studies have even shown that offices with access to nature can benefit employee wellbeing by up to 15%, and productivity by up to 6%.
While offices in suburban and rural locations don’t tend to have the same volume of transportation options, lacking inner-city underground lines and packed bus schedules, they do benefit from generally featuring less congestion.
If you drive to work, especially, a non-urban workspace means that you can cut huge chunks of time off your commute by avoiding sitting in traffic. You’ll also typically avoid having to pay a significant cost to find a parking space.
Even if you use public transport, you’ll find that routes that are heading away from cities or don’t involve cities at all are usually less crowded, and therefore less stressful!
And, finally, offices outside of the city are noticeably less crammed, and significantly easier to secure a space in. Especially if you’re looking for a larger office space, which are sometimes hard to come by in popular areas of crowded city centres, choosing a more rural option saves the hassle of compromising on one point after another just to find a space big enough to accommodate your needs.
Quieter offices can also facilitate better concentration and a more enjoyable worklife in general, with more peaceful spots to take a breather, less traffic noise pouring in through the windows, and even the opportunity for tranquil lunch-break walks.