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Offices are undergoing radical change, post-Covid. Are business rates keeping up?

Peter Foley is our resident guru here at CPA, and has been passionately following the shifting world of business rates for many years. With a keen political insight, Peter’s writing reveals how policy change is key to understanding your business rates further, and how this could translate into substantial savings. In his weekly column, Peter also outlines a desired path forward, with changes we’d like to see implemented for a fairer system on the nation's business rates.

The most recent survey of office spaces, spearheaded by Knight Frank, unveils a fast-evolving landscape of workspace dynamics. The survey brings to light several significant findings:

  • A considerable number of offices are becoming functionally and physically obsolescent, suggesting an impending overhaul of the office structure.

  • In response to the growing legal requirements for environmental sustainability, corporations are being urged to make radical revisions to their plans.

  • To coax employees back to the office environment, they may well demand upgraded amenities and improved quality workspaces.

  • Almost half of corporate headquarters foresee relocation within the next three years.

  • Most managers participating in the survey anticipate an increasingly intricate employment model, varying from "office-only" to "office-first", to more flexible working arrangements.

Commercial Property Advisors (CPA), a firm of business rates consultants, proposes that amidst these seismic shifts, potential savings in rates that can result from alterations in office working and design are often overlooked. As such, CPA suggests that this is the opportune moment for office-based businesses to request a free RICS-regulated survey of their properties. This exercise could lead to the identification of long-overlooked or newly emerging opportunities to reduce rates. With CPA's free services, the only costs involved are those agreed in advance, and they are entirely based on the savings realized. This approach leaves office managers worry-free, with the potential of significant savings to look forward to.

For further advice and assistance, businesses are encouraged to reach out to CPA, whose expertise can prove indispensable in navigating this dynamic scenario.

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