It would be wrong to write off the office market in Brighton and Hove, according to commercial property agents Graves Jenkins.
The firm said that it had secured “another office letting during lockdown even though government guidelines are to stay at home”.
And it added: “This is the latest of a number of office lettings undertaken by the same firm in the city which is a strong message that the office environment is not dead.
“With the pandemic restrictions seemingly easing and with companies now looking to return to work, there seems to be an upsurge of office inquiries.”
Graves Jenkins said that solicitors Mayo Wynne Baxter had taken a 10-year lease on a second-floor suite of offices at 44-46 Old Steine, Brighton.
The agents had been seeking £25 per square foot for the 1,938 sq ft premises.
Graves Jenkins director Phil Graves said: “It’s been a tough time for virtually every industry and almost impossible to plan for the immediate future with the uncertainties of lockdown.
“With the recent announcements, all office occupiers will have the need to make some decisions on staffing levels and general operational needs so that the workplace can be both covid-compliant and practical.
“I can foresee plenty of movement in this sector, not so much any rent changes, but re-establishing optimum levels of occupation.”
Mr Graves said that companies had relied on government bounce back loans, furlough arrangements and, for some, rent and business rate concessions, but commercial reality was due to kick in soon.
He added: “I think it is fair to state that lockdown has provided the opportunity for every organisation to review their working practices and, in many cases, they now realise that flexible home working is here to stay.
“Productivity can be consistent and flexi co-working is an office model for the future.
“However, social and professional interaction is important and not everyone can practically work from home.
“The office is far from dead. It just requires repositioning.”
As businesses gear up to reopen their offices in the coming months, he said, this could be the start of the “new office”.
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