After more than a year of working from home, many employees seem increasingly eager to return to the office – at least some of the time. As the novelty of working from the kitchen table and attending meetings in pyjamas has waned over the course of repeated lockdowns, a consensus is coalescing around a new hybrid working model which has major implications for how, where and when we commute.
The smart money is on a blended approach in which most knowledge workers spend two or three days a week in the office and the remainder working flexibly.
For those with sufficient space at home (or in the garden) to create their own distinct workspace, working from home may continue, but for those who have been forced to huddle over a laptop perched on the end of their bed, or share sluggish broadband with three of their housemates, an alternative is coming to a high street near them: welcome to the era of working near home.
This has led to predictions that new working patterns will accelerate the evolution of mobility hubs – multi-modal transport nodes connecting the commuter hinterland to suburbia and the city centre. Increasingly, large employers are expecting to gravitate to office space in the suburbs, bringing the workplace closer to employees and saving rent on expensive city centre real estate.