Hickey and The Instant Group released joint report on the Future of the Office

Hickey and Instant Group release joint report on the Future of the Office

4 March, 2021, London: Hickey & Associates, in collaboration with The Instant Group, released a new research report on the future of the office – The Rise of Suburbia: Is the Hub & Spoke Model Realistic?

The research conducted by Instant and HICKEY found that corporate headquarters are expected to shrink by up to 40% on average in the coming years as the role of the head office shifts to become more focused on collaboration and a place where teams can connect, rather than a traditional workspace.

As this comes to the fore, the concept of a hub and spoke model, with a greater regional presence, will become increasingly popular, forcing many businesses to take a more dispersed portfolio approach. In some cases, the reduced capex required to keep a large presence in the key cities could lead to savings of up to 23% for businesses, by taking a more considered approach to the needs of their employees and adopting a ‘rightsize’ approach.

According to the research, the pandemic and the change in the way people work has fast-forwarded industry thinking by five years. As lockdown restrictions start to ease, focus turns to how businesses can get employees back to the office – employees want a different office model now based on having much more choice and flexibility in the way they work. The Instant/HICKEY research found that 57% of employees want an office that is closer to their home.

With this, there is increased conjecture around the concept of the Hub & Spoke Model – one that reduces reliance on city centre locations and sees more offices in “work-near-home” locations allowing workers to benefit from reductions in commuting time and costs. This model capitalises on the improvement in work-life balance experienced by office workers, without the daily grind of the commute. The change in demand in secondary cities and suburban locations is now outstripping CBD demand. In most cases, supply in more suburban areas is limited and demand swings of anywhere between 2-5% could overwhelm the current suburban supply.

John Duckworth, Managing Director UK & EMEA, The Instant Group, said: “Covid-19 has forced companies to allow remote working on a global scale and has given employees more choice around where and how they work that many will not want to give up.

“Industry conjecture and the conversations we have had with clients have focused on the potential for a dispersed portfolio approach. This strategy could, if executed properly, reduce the costs of a business’ existing real estate portfolio, the 3rd highest cost for most companies, whilst driving benefits for staff including reduced commute times and costs and increased wellness and productivity. Covid has catapulted corporate real estate thinking forward – business agility is no longer a luxury, but critical to survival.”

Guy Douetil, Managing Director EMEA, HICKEY & Associates: “Employees are now more empowered than ever to choose where, when and for whom they work. Companies need to understand that in selecting a location the emphasis has changed from ‘where do people go to the office to work’ to ‘where do people live’?’ It is also worth remembering that no single city is the same, it is vital to understand how commuting patterns vary between locations in terms of mode, ease and time of commute.”

*The Instant Group / HICKEY research report – The Rise of Suburbia – March 2021





HICKEY is a global leader in site location strategy, economic incentive advisory, and workforce solutions with active projects in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. Utilizing state-of-the-art tools and techniques, HICKEY assists businesses in determining the most optimal location to expand, relocate or consolidate anywhere in the world.

By having a presence in key markets throughout the world, HICKEY ensures our services are always aligned with each unique local environment and provides our clients with an unparalleled level of support.

HICKEY has offices strategically located around the globe, including New York City, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Bangalore, São Paulo, and Mexico City.




About The Instant Group

Instant: Rethinking Workspace

Founded in 1999, The Instant Group is a workspace innovation company that rethinks workspace on behalf of its clients injecting flexibility, reducing cost and driving enterprise performance. Instant places more than 11,000 companies a year in flexible workspace such as serviced, coworking or managed offices including Amazon, Barclays, M&G, Booking.com, Shell, Capita, Serco, Teleperformance and Worldpay making it the market leader in flexible workspace.


Its listings’ platform www.instantoffices.com hosts more than 15,000 flexible workspace centres across the world and is the only site of its kind to represent the global market, providing a service to FTSE 100, Fortune 500, and SME clients.


With offices in London, Newcastle, Berlin, Budapest, Haifa, Istanbul, Paris, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne, Instant employs 300 experts and has clients in more than 150 countries. Instant is ranked #28 in the 2019 Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.