If you occupy business premises under a lease you may consider how to optimise this position. The first port of call will be to look at the provisions of your lease.
If you are exercising a break clause for all or part of your premises, look carefully at the break conditions:
If you do not have a break clause in your lease, approach your landlord. They may be willing to start marketing for a new tenant early or offer you a temporary rent reduction.
If you hold multiple leases, the landlord may accept a surrender of one, subject to payment of a surrender premium. Remember, you cannot surrender part of one lease. A surrender of part is treated for SDLT purposes as a surrender of the whole lease and a regrant of the retained part. This means you would need to pay SDLT (if the rent is sufficiently high to attract SDLT).
On a practical level, if you terminate a lease which contains car parking spaces or a right to use a certain number of spaces, you will also lose those associated spaces unless your landlord can agree a separate arrangement with you. Think about this when considering the number of people who might need this within your office.
Consider subletting any unused space if permitted under the terms of your lease as the income will supplement the rent due. Your landlord will usually need to be provided with information about the proposed subtenant and the terms of the sublease before you go ahead. They may also want to have input into the sublease itself.
You may also want to think about redesigning your workspace to support your organisational priorities. Landlord's consent may be required to remove internal partitioning and carry out other improvement works. If you are moving your kitchens and toilets, this may require larger scale works to be done, and an application may need to be made to your landlord for formal consent under a licence to alter.
The future of how office space might be used is uncertain still at this stage but the pandemic has showed us that remote working with the support of technology can be just as productive as in person.