#FutureofWork - Business has had its fair share of turbulence over the years, but never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined a virus shutting the world down.

Whilst economic uncertainty has fuelled the growth of the flexible office sector in recent times, the ramifications of a pandemic may have created a whole new dimension to approaching the rental of an office.

In addition to financial and flexibility considerations, many organisations may also now focus on other factors including hygiene and disaster recovery in their next move.

Based on conversations Free Office Finder have had with many of their landlords and tenants in the last few weeks, here are 9 changes that they predict businesses will consider in the future of work:

1. Virtual Office Tours  

In these unprecedented times, many office providers are creating virtual office tours for their office space. This involves 360° viewing technology which allows prospective tenants to immerse themselves with a virtual walkthrough of each room. In layman's terms, the ability to view an office without leaving your chair. A company’s decision to take an office could now be a combination of some parties within the company viewing the space in person and others from a virtual tour. 

2. Coworking (Hot-desks Switch to Fixed-desks)

Whilst most coworking spaces have a good daily cleaning process, it may not be enough to keep the interest of many solo workers. The idea of sitting at a desk that someone else has been sitting at 5 minutes previously, could prove too much for many after Covid-19. Many coworking spaces do offer fixed desks and we believe the fixed desk solution will start to replace the shared deskspace. We may start to see larger desks being used in both coworking and private offices to help maintain better social distancing.

3. Pre-agreed Rent Reductions for Lockdowns

The government is currently advising people to work from home in the face of a pandemic, meaning many companies are unable to safely occupy their offices. As a result, we may see ‘Pandemic clauses' inserted into contracts to allow for either a pre-agreed free or reduced rent period during a time like this until the advice (or actual lockdown) is lifted. This could be placed within agreements that office providers have with their head landlords right the way down to the small business occupying the suite.

4. The End of Phone Handsets

With record numbers of people working from home, many companies have switched to virtual phone systems. This is typically cloud-based software that enables you to make and receive phone calls through your computer or mobile. Many virtual solutions offer the same functionality you receive in a top of the range business handset, such as call forwarding, ring groups, call recording and voicemail. The fallout from Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of a quick disaster recovery solution and a virtual phone system enables people to work from a remote location immediately if needed. 


5. Flexible Space

Companies may seek office space within a building that provides the ability to downsize (or upsize) at short notice if a pandemic arose. A different size of office may also be needed during the recovery phase due to the inevitable change in the volume of business/staff it has. Many flexible office spaces include utilities and internet into the price, so it saves having to deal with multiple companies if there is a change in the requirement.

 6. Frequent Communal Cleaning

Some offices provide daily cleaning services of communal areas such a kitchen, seating areas and toilets. Communal areas are usually well-kept; however, we expect to see an increase in the frequency of communal cleaning, possibly with a signature system as you would expect to see in the toilets of a pub, restaurant, hotel or shopping centre etc.

7. Higher Percentage of Remote Workers

If remote working proves successful, there may be an increase in people working from home, on either a part- or full-time basis, resulting in less office space required by businesses. With fewer members of staff working from the office, a business may be able to rent fewer desks than originally needed, saving money on the total workspace required. 

One thing to bear in mind is that working in an office provides social interaction, helps to increase endorphins and may provide higher productivity, so remote working needs to be carefully considered in the overall picture as opposed to just the cost of a desk.

8. Increase in Virtual Meetings

With millions of people across the globe currently isolating, companies are being forced to hold virtual meetings using applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. With virtual meetings becoming the new norm during the Coronavirus outbreak, employees and companies will become more comfortable with video conferencing technology and we could see a much higher percentage of virtual meetings going forwards. In addition, virtual meetings can save companies both time and money on travel and meeting room hire.

9. Less Desks, More Storage Space

When China went into lockdown, the supply of many electrical goods slowed down, increasing prices and making some electrical parts for computers un-obtainable. Additionally, cleaning supplies and other everyday goods went out of stock as people stockpiled. Whilst we don’t expect organisations to start building bunkers within their offices, we do think companies will want to take additional space to store essential items in good supply should a national or worldwide shortage occur again. 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page