Monday, May 23, 2022

2022 Business Predictions: Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby

It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. 

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we speak to Ann Bhatti, head of the Connect Derby managed workspace scheme.

2021 was another challenging year for businesses, with the pandemic still having a significant impact on employers and employees. After the two lockdowns earlier in the year, many businesses returned to their workplaces in some form, which brought back a sense of normality.

I believe the managed workspace sector will continue to thrive and expect many businesses to maintain a hybrid working model throughout 2022. Hybrid working offers people more balance and control over the quality of their personal and professional life, which I hope will result in a happier and potentially more productive staff.

We are about to launch a new hybrid office offer at Connect Derby workspaces, which will enable business to have an office base for up to three days a week.

Although hybrid working is definitely here to stay, I believe the need for traditional offices will always exist and we have seen a continued demand for these spaces during the pandemic.

For the period from April – December 2021 Connect Derby let 24 offices to new businesses and a further 12 offices are under negotiation. Six existing tenants have relocated to larger offices.

The pandemic has been a catalyst for new innovations, forcing businesses to think and work smarter and develop new products and services to meet the changing needs of their customers.

Businesses are starting to realise the reason they had offices in the first place was to have their team all physically in one place to bounce ideas off each other, meet other likeminded businesses, improve communication and productivity. It is only a matter of time before they start to miss this and venture back out.

In the coming year, businesses will need to increase their efforts to monitor the health and welling of staff, especially those who have worked remotely for a significant period.

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