Office Location: Is it Time to Move Out of the City?

For as long as many can remember, big businesses have been based in city centres. It makes perfect sense to be located in a vibrant hub, right? However, decentralisation is becoming a big buzzword inspiring commercial relocations across the country. Thanks to various contributing factors, more and more decision-makers are considering the need to move out of the city.

Since the pandemic, the desire for open, outdoor space has done nothing but increase – and that’s not just in our personal lives. Employers are aware that outdoor breakout spaces and fresh air are a huge pull for employees, and as a result, we are seeing a shift in offices from the concrete of the city to the greenery of the countryside.

In this post we unpack just some of the benefits in relocating out of the cityscape and into greener pastures.

Lower Costs

It’s no secret that renting office space in the city can be costly. This is often due to high demand and limited availability, not to mention that everything is pricier these days with the cost-of-living crisis looming over our heads.

Recent statistics from Oktra show that businesses could be paying up to £120 per square foot for offices in the heart of some of London’s finest boroughs. Compare this to the average price of office space in Wiltshire, for example, which is approximately £20 per square foot. It’s a no-brainer and explains why businesses are moving into the countryside.

More Space

Offices in the city are often more compact and have limited square footage. Relocating outside of the city could offer you more ‘bang for your buck’, with many office spaces providing spacious environments – both inside and out. Not only does this benefit employees in the immediate with better utilisation of space but it also offers greater potential for expansion in the future.

Shorter Commutes

One of the primary advantages of having offices outside the city is the shorter commute times for employees. By avoiding congested city traffic, employees will spend less time on their journey to work, and as a result, will see an improvement in their work-life balance and job satisfaction.

In a study conducted by TUC, it was shown that Londoners have the longest commute time in the UK, with an average of 59 minutes spent getting to and from work each day. By relocating to an office based outside the city, there’s a greater probability that employees will be closer to home or at least won’t have to face city traffic, therefore making commute times more manageable and far less dreaded.


One of the struggles of being a city-based worker is finding somewhere to park. City centres often suffer from limited parking options. This can be a great inconvenience for employees (and clients) and can make travelling to work more expensive. Offices located outside the city usually have more available parking spaces – most of which can be free and on-site – making it easier for employees and visitors to park their vehicles without hassle.

Improved Quality of Life

The effects of nature on wellbeing have been positively documented for years. Spending time outside boosts your mood, reduces your stress levels and encourages people to be more active – the pandemic highlighted the importance of this to us all. There’s little surprise bosses are considering a change.

Not only does a countryside location improve one’s mental health, by default, it will increase the mental alertness and productivity of staff members. A rural location is prime for enticing your business to flourish.

Community Connections

Being situated outside the city allows businesses to engage with the local community more directly. This may include participating in local events, collaborating with nearby organisations and building stronger relationships with customers and clients. Such community involvement can enhance the company’s reputation and help foster loyalty.

Environmental Impact

Whilst cities are hugely important for society and the economy, they also pose substantial environmental consequences. Offices located outside the city can contribute to reducing the overall environmental impact, with shorter commutes, less traffic congestion, lower carbon emissions and reduced fuel consumption.

Additionally, businesses can also make use of their greener spaces, with ample opportunity for outdoor working areas or meeting spaces, and the rural setting can help incorporate sustainable practices and strategies more easily.

It’s important to note that the benefits we’ve outlined above can vary depending on specific factors to do with the business, target market, and of course, individual preferences.

Needless to say, the decision to move your office from the city and out into the countryside should come with careful evaluation of the company’s goals and the needs of its employees as best as possible.

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