29 February 2012

London 2012 set to boost home working across the Capital


london 2012 home workingFlexible working practices adopted by firms to minimise the disruptive impact of the London 2012 Games on their business are set to significantly boost the trend towards home working and the establishment of home offices across London and the South East.


The Smart Growth Analytics 2012 Home Office Survey demonstrates the increasing importance of home offices across London, a trend likely to be boosted significantly by the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

There are currently around 140,000 home offices across London. The City has the highest 'home office density' amongst all regions by a hugely considerable margin; London has almost 90 home offices per sq km compared to the South East (which has the next highest density with 9 home offices per sq km). Almost 4% of all those in employment in London work in a home office, compared to 3% nationally.

Home offices are a significant economic feature across the whole of London, but Barnet has the highest volume, with around 8,000 home offices. Kensington & Chelsea has the highest concentration, with 8% of all workers working in home offices. Camden is London's primary 'home office hotspot', however; Smart Growth Analytics' Home Office Hotspot Ranking combines both volumes and concentrations and Camden's 7,000 home offices and 6% of all workers in home offices, place it in the top spot.

Within Camden itself, its own key local area hotspot is the area around Hampstead Heath, where more than one in ten of all employed local residents are working in home offices.

These home office trends will be boosted significantly by the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as London's firms seek to minimise disruption cause by the Games. A recent Cisco study found that around 22% of UK firms will adopt flexible working practices in order to address disruption in such key operational areas as their overall staff levels, their staff travel to work and their staff morale and motivation.

As well as minimising disruption from the Games, a benefit of increased home office working can include a smaller central office workspace requirement for the firm - critical in prime areas - and higher staff productivity. For employees, benefits include convenience, flexibility and huge time and cost savings through reduced commuting.

Jim Plunkett-Cole, Principal Analyst at Smart Growth Analytics, said: "The findings from this analysis help us to understand the increasingly important home-based economic functionality of London's residential areas. With evidence that many City firms will be adopting flexible working practices to reduce disruption from London 2012, the Games will no doubt boost London's home office market tremendously. It is also likely that the Games will leave a considerable legacy on home working patterns across the City, the South East and possibly other parts of the UK, long after they have finished."

Full press release: (includes map and tables)
London 2012 set to boost home working across the Capital (29 February 2012) PDF

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