As we are living in a society that is forever changing, business workspaces are equally subject to change as well. This often correlates with technological advancements. It is traditional for offices to work on a set allocation of space for teams or individual employees. In recent years, however, we have seen the rise flexible workspace as an alternative solution.
What is a Flexible Workspace?
A flexible workspace is a wonderful way for businesses to implement versatile space solutions. The flexible workspace is also often referred to as shared office space of “flexi-space”. These spaces include basic equipment such as desks, chairs and phone lines. These spaces are set up to provide businesses and/or employees with a temporary, physical office space.
Businesses can consequently get the most benefits of cost efficient solutions, benefiting from hot desking to mobile working. This gives staff the ability to work from different locations when needed. Employees from different companies can also share workspaces. Business owners then have affordable access to offices without committing to contract terms.
Will the Demand for a Flexible Workspace Change?
This year we are set to see an increased demand for flexible workspace. It is becoming quite the trending topic in property and business. In the last five years, co-working and hybrid space have doubled in popularity, accounting for a third of all flexible workspace across the globe.
Changes in the market from political and economic outcomes have made flexible office space more vital. Flexible office space offers flexibility in a market of uncertainty. During a time where millennials are soon to take over the workforce, this generation could be searching for a meaningful connection with where they work.
Research suggests that the flexible workspace is growing more than 15 per cent year-on-year in the UK. In fact, it is moving at an even more advanced rate across EMEA. A result of this has led to many flexible office space locators and providers have started up. This covers a gap in the market, which caters to a number of niches. Some, such as Work-Place in Manchester, offers a stylish solution with many benefits.
Predictions on Market Growth – Are Landlords Changing their Methods?
Two years ago, the supply of co-working increased by double figures in central London. Some experts predict this growth is sure to spread to towns and rural locations. In order to stay competitive, landlords are changing their methods to meet high demands for office space. This would mean more profit for landlords, who can offer higher premiums for shorter contract terms.
What Type of Businesses Look for a Flexible Workspace?
In conventional terms, technology companies are often seen as best suited for a flexible workspace. Although this method is commonly adopted by start-ups and SMEs, there has recently been a large increase in inquiries by mid-to-large companies. However, we cannot ignore the advantages of flexible workspaces when considering ways start-ups can cut costs. This is why start-ups often go down this path.
A Global Future of the Flexible Workspace
The increase in demand for more flexible workspaces means more competition. Many landlords will face new challenges regarding attracting and retaining members. Those who succeed will be the ones who bring something different to the table.
The flexible workspace is expected to continue to rise throughout the year. According to Ryan Simonetti, CEO of Convene, 30 per cent of commercial office real estate will be flexible by 2030. Research demonstrates that flexible office space has increased by 22 per cent in the last seven years. Traditional office space, however, has only grown by 1 per cent in the same period.
The demand for short and flexible-term lease options is on the rise worldwide. The trend is sure to keep expanding as large global enterprises capitalise on flexibility in their long-term real estate methods.
The expansion will be a witness among existing operators, but also those who are new and entering the market as real estate owners. Richard Smith, who has worked in the UK workspace market for 25 years, suggests large investors such as Brockton and British Land are taking and funding space within their restrictive industries.
If we are to stay in an up-market, the continued growth of the flexible workspace market seems inevitable. The word “co-working” is a buzzword you should be hearing a lot by the end of the year. Investments will grow as workspace models are proven profitable through a maximum occupancy approach.
New leasing models and partnerships are set to become the norm. Co-working operators will offer flexible workspaces to corporate tenants. The flexible workspace is predicted to become a viable, sustainable segment of the office market, something business start-ups can certainly jump on board with before making a committed investment.
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