Flexible working now arriving at aisle three

Remote workers might soon be able to do their jobs and shop for groceries at the same time, under a new “Spaces” project between Tesco and flexible office operator IWG. A trial at a branch of Tesco in New Malden that will start later in this month and will accommodate 12 private desks, 30 co-working spaces and a meeting room. The 3,800 sq ft space within the store would normally have been used for electrical goods, music, and other forms of entertainment, most of which are now mainly purchased online. The aim is to make better use of floor space and, if successful, Tesco stores across the country could become flexible working hubs.

The deal is the first collaboration between IWG’s Spaces brand and Tesco. The move reflects “part of a shift towards creating more self-sustaining, vibrant local communities that will greatly improve the work-life balance of local workers as well as having a positive impact on the environment by reducing the need for daily and costly commutes into central London”.

Research undertaken by IWG suggests that three-quarters (72 percent) of workers would prefer the long-term ability to work flexibly to going back to the office five days a week, with a 10 percent pay rise.  The growth of IWG’s network has been increasingly focused on suburban locations, emphasising the demand for workspace solutions in the heart of local communities. About  77 percent of employees say a place to work closer to home is a must-have for their next job move, with workers four times more likely to choose an office close to home than a city centre.