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News Release: Offices see fluctuating occupancy levels: latest from Remit Consulting’s UK study

01 November 2023
  • Nationally, office occupancy levels were down 2.3 percentage points on the previous week

Average office occupancy levels settled at 31.7% last week, showing a dip of 2.3 percentage points from the previous week's 34.0%, according to research from Remit Consulting. Nationally, over the eight weeks since the end of the summer school holidays in England, the data reveals an average of 32.4%.

Last week, half-term for many, the national average was significantly influenced by London’s West End market, where the average office occupancy fell nearly eleven percentage points to 42.3% from 53.1% the previous week.

Lorna Landells of Remit Consulting commented, "While we have seen some weekly fluctuations in office occupancy rates, the general trend appears slowly upward. Last week saw a slightly reduced occupancy level, at the national level, compared to the peak of 34.7% three weeks ago.

“Our research, since the end of lockdown restrictions in May 2021, confirms that the landscape of office occupancy is changing and indicates a trend towards greater occupational flexibility. This reflects the evolving needs of businesses and is a strategic shift that, arguably, has been accelerated by the pandemic. This acceleration has made it crucial for office landlords and asset managers to be adaptable and forward-thinking.

“Any potential surge in vacancy rates would pose a further challenge for investors, the office market and the wider business community,” she added.

UK National Average Office Occupancy Rates since May 2021

Research carried out before the pandemic, suggested office occupancy rates ranged between 60% and 80%, influenced by elements such as holidays, employee absences, and external meetings.