We Are Social to slash office space by half despite increased headcount

The agency is putting plans into preparation for when employees return to the office

We Are Social: office is located in Finsbury Square
We Are Social: office is located in Finsbury Square

We Are Social is to reduce its office space by half in the next few months, in preparation for when employees return to the office.

The agency will reconfigure a one-floor space at its current offices in Finsbury Square, Moorgate, to replace the existing office that stretches across two floors. The current office is approximately 26,000 sq ft.

This move comes despite the agency having grown its headcount in the last year. It currently has 172 employees, compared to 139 this time last year - an increase of 33 people, or 24%. A total of 64 people were hired in 2020, including replacements.

Managing partner Lucy Doubleday told Campaign that in planning its office requirements, the agency had taken into account both the benefits of people working from home in the last year, and the recognition that this can lead to loneliness, and to longer and more intense hours.

“Having visited the office a few times since lockdown, it was like entering a crime scene, where you can stand back and have a good look - we realised we had a lot of space,” she said.

“In the last year, we have performed well commercially, winning new business and recruiting accordingly. While this has been managed well remotely, from a cultural point of view, it’s really important for us to have a space where we can gather together.”

By giving up one floor, there are obviously significant cost savings to be made, but Doubleday said these would be invested in reconfiguring the existing floor to manage the agency’s increased headcount.

Post-Covid, the agency is expecting employees to attend the office , but Doubleday said it will be flexible by offering blended working, whereby staff combine, for example, three days in the office with two days at home. These needs will be met in the reconfigured office: as well as dedicated desk space for around 80 employees, one area will allow staff to share or "perch" at desks. 

“Since lockdown, we’ve realised that certain processes can be performed well at home so we want our staff to take ownership and recognise what tasks are best done in the office and which can be better done at home,” Doubleday said.

The change in office space was not prompted by the lease being up for renewal but We Are Social is currently undergoing a rent review and is actively looking for a new tenant to occupy the floor it is vacating.

Other agencies to have reduced or vacated office space in recent months include M&C Saatchi, Pablo and Elvis. PR agency Edelman, meanwhile, today told PR Week it would downsize its office space across Europe.

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