Evening Standard

Derwent’s boss insists the office ‘is far from dead’

- Joanna Bourke @es_jobourke

THE chief executive of property developer Derwent London today said the office “is far from dead”, as he forecast when Londoners will return to their desks.

Paul Williams said that occupation levels across his firm’s office blocks in the capital are around 15%. He predicts that will rise to 50% by the end of the year, before improving further in 2021.

Like other landlords, Derwent London has seen its buildings underused since scores of people started working from home for the Covid-19 lockdown in March.

There are industry concerns businesses will look to let people work away from the office longer term.

Williams expects there will continue to be some home working, but added that “companies still need to bring their staff together, for the collaborat­ion that social interactio­n brings”.

Derwent’s first-half rental income rose 5% to £97.8 million and it upped the interim dividend by 4.8% to 22p per share.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom