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Reasons Offices Are Moving From Suburban to Urban

Jennifer Post

With the millennial workforce and younger, the appeal of urban office settings is greater than ever. Long gone are the days of suburban office parks being the most desirable setting for work. Younger generations want to be near hip eateries, Instagram-worthy coffee shops, and mom-and-pop storefronts. This is why offices are moving from suburban to urban settings.

Ben Hicks, partner at talent acquisition firm WinterWyman, explained to Business News Daily a few of the main selling points that urban offices offer.

1. Concentration

"There's a huge concentration of candidates and other businesses [in urban areas]," Hicks said. "When it comes to candidates, they're a huge driver for business. Right now we're in a candidate-driven market, and candidates cluster to urban areas because that's where the jobs are. Candidates are attracted to areas with adverse job offerings, so if there is an urban location that is home to multiple businesses, those businesses will likely attract a higher number of top-tier candidates."

2. Networking opportunities

Hicks also noted that there are more meetups, conferences, events and social opportunities in urban areas. In the suburbs, it's harder for people to participate in such activities.

3. Quality of life

"Candidates feel that when they have access to more interesting spots/activities (for lunch, after-work drinks, networking evets, etc.), they have a better quality of life," Hicks said. "Additionally, many people who live in the city don't have a car. Therefore, they expect to be able to bike, walk or take public transportation to work, making some suburban offices inaccessible."

There are many reasons a business would want to move offices from suburban to urban settings. Kate Hart, office relocation and removals manager at UK-based moving company Fantastic Removals, broke down a few more.

4. Access to commercial buildings

Whether you need a supermarket, hospital or other emergency service, or entertainment center, you can usually get there in minutes when you work in the city. "This means you save lots of time if you have to make small purchases before or after work – most of the time, the place is on your way to the workplace," Hart said.

5. Meal diversity

"I've talked personally to employees who've been working in an office located in the suburbs and noticed a common issue most of them complained about: They were forced to bring homemade food because they were all limited during their lunch break," Hart said.

While this would save an employee money on eating out, they consumed a lot of their free time preparing the food instead of just going to a local restaurant for lunch.

6. Better for PR

"Whenever you need to organize special events for business partners or customers, they'll be able to participate without leaving the urban area," Hart said. She added that this highly increases the productivity and reduces the costs of your promotional campaigns and PR activities. You'll be able to make many more impressions at lower costs while also attracting interested commercial parties with higher efficiency.

Hicks said that the main reason for moving would generally be talent acquisition. "Companies want to remain competitive by growing and hiring the best candidates for the job. We get a lot of calls from clients whose leases are up and are thinking about moving, or are having trouble attracting the right candidates. We generally advise that if they can't move, they might benefit from looking into a second office or getting an account with WeWork, thereby allowing workers to still work in an urban setting without needing to relocate the entire office."

Top candidates wanting to be in urban areas is nothing new. There's a multitude of reasons for that, and because of that, companies jump at the opportunity to relocate or open offices in urban settings.

Image Credit: ImageFlow/Shutterstock
Jennifer Post
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jennifer Post is a professional writer with published works focusing on small business topics including marketing, financing, and how-to guides. She has also published articles on business formation, business software, public relations and human resources. Her work has also appeared in Fundera and The Motley Fool.