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Flexible Office Space to be Trialled in Tesco Supermarkets

Flexible Office Space to be Trialled in Tesco Supermarkets
17 May 2022

IWG, whose brands include Regus and Basepoint, is to pilot flexible office space within a Tesco supermarket in New Malden.

Excess retail space at the South London store, totalling 3,800 sq ft, will be used as offices, featuring 12 desks, 30 co-working spaces and a meeting room, according to The Guardian.


3/4 Workers Would Take Hybrid Working Over a Payrise


The trend for hybrid working over recent years has caused a boom in popularity for flexible working spots, as employers juggle the demands of a post-lockdown workforce.

Recent data from the CIPD states that the number of employers who report that home working has increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency has jumped significantly over the last year.

When asked in December 2020, a third (33 per cent) of employers said home working had increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency. However, when asked about increased home/hybrid working in October/November 2021, over two-fifths (41 per cent) said these new ways of working had increased this. 

In a 2021 survey by IWG, almost half of all office workers asked said they would quit if asked to go back to the office five days a week, while nearly three quarters said they would prefer the option of hybrid working to a 10 per cent pay rise if offered the choice.


“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.”

–Andrew Mawson

Founder Advanced Workplace Associates


“The Days of Desk Ownership are Done”


Andrew Mawson from global consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates, feels that these new spaces are indicative of a wider shift of businesses ridding themselves of expensive permanent office spaces:

“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 8 am and 8 pm 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 organisation's office footprint might be as little as 30 per cent of its pre-pandemic need.”

Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO at Freespace, a workplace technology company, predicts that making retail spaces multifunctional in this way will benefit the local community:

“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.”

Picture: a photograph of supermarket fruit and vegetable aisle, showing some price signage that says "100 years of great value". Image Credit: Tesco

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 May 2022


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