Focus on Business in Canary Wharf

Focus on Business in Canary Wharf from LondonOfficeSpace.comKnown worldwide for the important role it plays in London’s Central Business District, Canary Wharf is one of the UK’s financial hubs. Although it has a reputation for being home to stockbrokers, insurance firms, and other financial magnates, you will also find an array of retail giants and leisure firms there.

The Main Types of Businesses in Canary Wharf

From accountants and stockbrokers through to architects and designers, Canary Wharf certainly isn’t short on professional talent. It forms a significant part of London’s service industry, with investment firms appearing to reign supreme amongst all the others. With between 25,000 to 75,000 financial jobs per square mile in the area, it’s clear that Canary Wharf’s monetary reputation is accurate and well deserved.

In addition to investment firms, a significant proportion of the world’s industrial insurance is brokered in Canary Wharf. Alongside the City of London, this area accounts for 183,000 members of staff in the financial sector. As London is seen as a key investment centre worldwide, it attracts some of the globe’s greatest banking talents. With plans for 3,000 new homes in Canary Wharf and Tower Hamlets, it seems as though business is expected to grow.

As anybody with a keen interest in the area may already know, Canary Wharf was born after the closing of the India trading docks in the 1980s. While it has seen significant progress in terms of jobs and investment opportunities, the government is always looking for ways to enhance this. Another plan in the works is a high-speed rail link called the Crossrail, which is due for completion in 2018. This, plus an increasing number of jobs in the area, means that property development is also set to flourish. Continue reading “Focus on Business in Canary Wharf”

Company Christmas Parties: How To Make Sure Your Office Christmas Party is Tax Deductible

Company Christmas Parties: How To Make Sure Your Office Christmas Party is Tax Deductible from LondonOfficeSpace.comLike most employers, you should have by now reached the time of year where you start thinking about your Christmas party. Whether you’re hosting at your premises, looking at swanky hotels, or pouring through novel ideas, there are ways to keep your workforce entertained while ensuring it’s tax deductible.

There is, however, a catch. Your tax deductible Christmas expenses have a limit of £150 per person in attendance. A simple understanding of how to keep your Christmas party tax deductible can avoid nasty VAT surprises, while allowing you to throw the perfect bash.

Understanding the Rules Surrounding Tax Deductible Christmas Parties

First, that £150 per head doesn’t just apply to your employees. It’s applicable to whoever is in attendance, which means it’s tax deductible for your spouse, their spouses, and whoever else they bring along. Now here’s the tricky part; if you go even one penny over that £150, the whole event is subject to the usual VAT rules.

To meet these terms, bookings must be made in the business’ name. So when you call a hotel or restaurant to make a booking, book it under the name of your business and not the director or events planner. It’s also worth noting that this £150 per head expense is per-annum. So if you hold more than one event in a year, the aggregate cost must not exceed £150. In order for it to be classed as a party that’s tax deductible, it must be open to all of your employees. If your employees are at different locations – because you have a lot of branches – you’re allowed to hold parties at all of these locations. Continue reading “Company Christmas Parties: How To Make Sure Your Office Christmas Party is Tax Deductible”

Focus on Business in Westminster

Focus on Business in Westminster from LondonOfficeSpace.com @officeinlondonAlthough Westminster is best known for its political affiliations, it is actually home to more enterprises and employees than any other borough in London. With part of the borough covering the world-famous West End, it is known globally for its contribution to the UK’s retail sector. Creative industries and knowledge economy are also big in Westminster, including the presence of the BBC’s main building.

The Biggest Industries in Westminster

Whereas most boroughs in London feature between 5,000 and 12,000 enterprises, Westminster is home to more than 46,000. Since the economic recession of 2008, Westminster has lost 2.8% of its enterprises. However, the retail industry continues to thrive there, with people around the world seeing this part of London as an excellent shopping destination.

One of the most significant employers in Westminster continues to be public administration and defence. Although they only share 40 enterprises between them, they employ over 50,000 people, primarily within large government departments that can be found at parliament, Whitehall, and other such buildings.

In addition to public administration and defence, Westminster is home to 70,000 employees working in the food and accommodation sectors. Owing to its popularity as a destination for tourists with a strong interest in shopping and its central location to key tourist attractions, Westminster features an abundance of hotels. The nighttime economy in Westminster is strong, as there is a considerable number of bars, clubs, and pubs present. In fact, tourism expenditure in Westminster accounts for around 15% of London’s tourism economy.

Around 85 percent of Westminster’s enterprises feature less than 10 employees, which is higher than the London average. This shows that it is a place where small businesses can happily thrive, although the cost of running a business there tests whether the majority of small businesses can manage this.

The Biggest Employer’s in Westminster

With 7 of the global 500 being based in Westminster, it’s clear that the borough is an attractive base for large businesses too. There is a significant media presence within the borough. Not only will you find the BBC’s headquarters there, you’ll also come across Pearson PLC and the Penguin Group, The Economist, and Kingfisher PLC. Travel and tourism giants include Easy Group, Korean Air, and Iraq Airways. Oil magnates also appear to be attracted to the area, with BP and Gulf Oil both having head offices there. Finally, there are brands that cater to the tastes of those who love delicate food, including Marks and Spencer and Pre-a-Manger. Continue reading “Focus on Business in Westminster”

Focus on Business in the City of London

Focus on Business in the City of London from LondonOfficeSpace.comWithin the square mile that makes up the City of London, there are more than 14,000 businesses. Fortunately the city’s landscape reaches high, otherwise there wouldn’t be much more room for budding entrepreneurs.

Known worldwide for being a hub of financial activity, the City of London is home to some of the world’s biggest accountancy firms, banks, and investors. Amongst the financial moguls you’ll find the occasional law firm, tech ventures like Google, and telecommunications outfits like Three. Competition for rental space is fierce, and the City of London’s local government does expect businesses to commit to sustainable practice. Knowing a little more about this area in general can help you determine whether it’s the right place to invest.

The City of London’s Financial Sector

The City of London is also known as the “Square mile”, and when investors worldwide hear that phrase, they know people are referring to the UK’s financial hub. There, you will find traditional banks and insurance agencies, including international branches like the Bank of America and the Bank of Canada. Foreign exchange businesses also thrive in the City of London, with a turnover of around 0.73 trillion alone.

Sitting at the heart of all this financial activity is the London Stock Exchange, which has been in existence since 1801. Alongside the heavily regulated London Stock Exchange is the alternative investment market, which exists for those who do not have the usual connections for traditional investing. It’s less well regulated, but it does open the financial floor up to a broader range of investors.

Although the finance industry dominates the City of London’s business activities, you will find the odd non-financial venture. This includes Google, which is home to one of London’s most innovative offices with hundreds of employees. Finally, there’s Three, which is a relative newcomer to the telecommunications industry, but is one that continues to grow stronger on a daily basis. Continue reading “Focus on Business in the City of London”

How the Shopping and Retail Industry Boosts London’s Economy

In 2013, major international brands from around the world gave London’s economy a boost by bringing a total of 31 new stores to the city. From the acclaimed American clothing store J Crew to luxury brand Tom Ford, each one placed its mark on the capital of England for the first time. After what has seemed like an endlessly tense economic recovery, the introduction of these stores to the capital has proved to bring good news. As of May 2014, London held the title of being the ‘World’s most popular city for international retailers’, making it a go-to shopping destination for people across the globe. How the Shopping and Retail Industry Boosts London's Economy from LondonOfficeSpace.com

London Knocking Dubai from the Hot Shopping Top Spot

With approximately 57% of the world’s major international brands now owning stores in London, the city is ahead of Dubai, New York, Paris, and Shanghai, all of which have enviable shopping reputations of their own. To complement its reputation for shopping prestige, London carries a cosmopolitan vibe, which appeals to young and rich fashion lovers looking to make the most of their cash in an environment that’s enjoyable. Worldwide, Regent Street and Westfield are now well-known amongst the globe’s shopping elite. Eric Eastman of CBRE has since noted that London now attracts more international visitors than any other city in the world, with a considerable number of them coming from China.

Thanks to more major brands investing in the city, areas outside of the main shopping hubs are now attracting investment. This has seen some of Covent Garden’s boutique shopping spaces give way to bigger brands, which are beginning to fight for space within the city. Continue reading “How the Shopping and Retail Industry Boosts London’s Economy”

Office Interiors That Will Make You Green With Envy

For the majority of office workers, there are usually very few things about their workspace that can be considered truly remarkable. Office space can tend to be rather dull and drab, and there is a reason for it too: decades ago, the old school of organisational psychology claimed that making an office slightly inviting would be counterproductive, as employees would feel too comfortable to be productive.Google Office Amsterdam

Luckily, that school of thought is slowly being replaced by a commitment to turning offices into convivial and welcoming spaces that inspire employees and encourage productivity. The workspaces listed below are living proof of this, so take a look at some of the world’s most stunning office interiors and discover the key elements that can make an office stand out.

TBWA – Hakuhodo

The Japanese subsidiary of this international marketing firm is an example of excellent sustainable office practices. As you can see in the picture below, this office is characterised by having a large amount of green areas that can be seen from pretty much every corner of the office thanks to its open plan design. Instead of using carpet or tiles as flooring materials, hardwood and grass were used to create comfortable, warm, and relaxing spaces. Every aspect of this working space is perfectly in line with the company’s motto “think happy”. We are pretty sure that staff appreciate working in such a peaceful environment right in the middle of Tokyo’s hectic business district.

BBC Headquarters, Salford

The BBC’s impressive complex at Salford is often listed as one of the best office spaces to work in. More than 2,500 people work at this shiny, sleek, and modern waterfront office location where creativity and leisure are an integral part of working life. Step into this office complex and you’ll soon come across security staff patrolling on Segways, futuristic-looking ‘thought wheels’, and colour-coded areas (magenta for ‘thinking’ spaces and green/lilac for ‘doing’ spaces). The corridors are lined with ‘collaboration pods’, which are designed to foster brainstorming and creative thinking. The most distinctive feature of this office interior model is precisely the fact that there are no offices as such, but rather closed booths and large open spaces designed to facilitate flexibility and mobility.

BBC MediaCity

BBC MediaCity

Continue reading “Office Interiors That Will Make You Green With Envy”

Housing for London Employees

Compared to the rest of the UK, London has seen significant rises in house prices since the beginning of the recession. With the average home in the capital costing a painful £530,000 in 2014, many employees living in London are finding the property market is difficult to manage. Such steep rises are also reflected in rental prices, leading to a growing number of city workers commuting from outside areas, or living with their colleagues.

Housing for London Employees from LondonOfficeSpace.com

The Rising Cost of Housing in London

Between the start of 2014 and May 2014, housing prices in London rose by more than £87,000. The Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney, has stated that there are deep structural problems within the city’s housing market, and that an absence of new builds may exacerbate the issue. Continue reading “Housing for London Employees”

Famous London Landmark Buildings Being Used as Offices

When it comes to working in the city, life is rarely dull. From the constantly busy atmosphere through to working locations, London’s business sector is an exciting place for workers of all ages to be. In recent years, more and more companies have begun using famous landmarks as their office buildings of choice. For those who work in them, going to work comes with the simple pleasure of sitting in a building with historic significance, day after day.

Farmiloe-Building-Clerkenwell

The Batman Building in Clerkenwell
Sat in the heart of Clerkenwell is a building known as ‘The Batman Building’. In addition to finding fame for its role in Gotham City, this mid-19th-century glass and leadworks outfit is owned by the Farmiloe family, which was the original family to commission it. In addition to featuring in Batman, it has been snapped up by the producers of Inception and Sherlock Holmes.

Although this Clerkenwell building has continued to be popular amongst movie directors, the owners have since chosen to turn it into offices, targeting multinational corporations like Amazon. While those working for everyday small and medium businesses might not get a look in, the lucky few who do work for multinational corporations in the area may find themselves travelling to Gotham City on a daily basis for their 9 to 5 job.

The Gherkin in the City of London @officeinlondon

The Gherkin
To the rest of the UK the Gherkin is well-known for its role in the business world. When it comes to visitors, however, it is a towering landmark that they’ll forever associate with London’s skyline. As a commercial skyscraper that sits in the heart of London’s financial district, the Gherkin is home to hundreds of city workers, who spend most of their days and weeks toying with the financial market from within its glass walls.

For those who don’t work in the city, the Gherkin presents an excellent opportunity to grab a bite to eat. At the top there is a restaurant, which offers one of the city’s best panoramic views. Those who walk into to play with the stock market may benefit from its luxurious surroundings on a daily basis, but everyday people can enjoy the views without so many city stresses. Continue reading “Famous London Landmark Buildings Being Used as Offices”

Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 3rd Quarter 2014

Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market - 3rd Quarter 2014 from LondonOfficeSpace.comDuring the third quarter of 2014, the commercial property market in London has greatly benefited from a strengthened economy. Low interest rates and improved consumer confidence have contributed to making commercial floorspace in the British capital attractive to the eyes of investors and property managers, many of whom are trying to make the most out of the fact that overall prices still remain well below the peak they reached in 2007. During the past three months, average values for commercial property in London have been 31 per cent lower than in 2007. Return rates on investment for all types of commercial property have hovered around the 15 per cent mark, a slightly higher figure than the one experienced during the first half of the year. The commercial property market in London remains largely dominated by overseas investors, who currently have a 57 per cent market share, followed by UK institutions and property firms. Read on for more details on the market’s performance during the third quarter of 2014.

The London Office Market Q3 2014

On the whole, the cost of office space in central London is currently 4 per cent below its 2007 record high values. Having said that, it is important to note that some areas within central London have managed to return to or even exceed their pre-recession values. This is the case of offices in the West End, whose value increased by 5 per cent during the third quarter of this year. At the end of August 2014, office take-up rates in London were 17 per cent higher than during the previous year.

The latest data also show that the gap in prices between primary and secondary office stock in the city has been consistently narrowing down over the past quarter. Moderate rental growth is now evident across most city locations. However moderate, rental value increases and rising occupation costs have led more than 40 corporate occupiers to relocate from West End core offices to cheaper properties in areas like Midtown, the South Bank, or the city fringe. Year-on-year rental growth values are now 9.8 per cent higher in Midtown properties (which have been clearly outperforming those in other areas) and 7.3 per cent higher in city fringe locations.

Another trend worth mentioning is the significant number of central London offices that have been earmarked for conversion into residential properties. In the West End alone, more than 800,000 square feet of office space are set to be re-developed into residential floorspace within the next few years. It is expected that this trend will continue, as during the past three months consent has been granted to dozens of planning applications that will result in office-to-residential conversions. Continue reading “Overview of London’s Commercial Property Market – 3rd Quarter 2014”