Three Flexible Workspace Trends to Watch for in 2018 (+ infographic)

March 20, 2018 | Commercial Real Estate

Image of lady working on laptop in modern office space | Coworking article

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In 2005, a small group of unaffiliated, creative individuals came together to experiment what it would be like to work alongside each other in a shared environment called Spiral Muse. Today, the number of flexible workspace spaces exceeds 10,000 worldwide. Found in over 150 countries across six continents, they cater to a mixed bag of small business owners, sole traders, and corporates.  

The rise of flexible workspace spaces in Australia

The concept has also taken off in Australia. By the end of 2017, more than 300 flexible workspaces were operating nationally (up from just 60 in 2013). And this number is on the rise with Sydney and Melbourne now home to over half (58%) of all Australian flexible workspace spaces.

Interestingly, flexible workspace spaces are not just an inner-city phenomenon. Though 53% are located in CBD or inner metro areas, an impressive 35% are found away from major economic hubs, suggesting they support specific lifestyle choices.

The benefits of flexible workspace

Flexible workspace comes with a list of features and benefits as long as your arm. Here are just a few:

  • Boosted productivity – This is one of the most significant advantages of flexible workspace. Approximately 74% of flexible workspace members report being more productive when working in collaborative facilities. This is likely due to higher morale, a sense of community, the chance to work alongside like-minded individuals, and the ability to match environment and hours to the work being carried out.
  • Networking opportunities – Flexible workspace is like working in a little community; a place where all shapes and flavours come together with one common interest: to build a better business. It’s the perfect environment for networking with like-minded professionals, or for meeting new clients or investors. In fact, 71% of flexible workspace members collaborate with other members, 80% achieve business growth and 91% gain business insights from other members.
  • Spaces come fully equipped – Fexible workspace spaces are designed with flexibility and functionality in mind. They shed the need for expensive fit-outs, come with office furniture and equipment, rid the stress of property management and reduce overheads. Many flexible workspace spaces also provide things like security, services, meeting rooms, break out areas, and information technology to help you run your business.
Three trends to watch for in 2018

Image of man working on laptop in leafy coworking space

1) Expect to see a rise of flexible workspace within office buildings

This year, we expect to see a rise of flexible workspaces within office buildings. For strata owners targeting the smaller occupier, this could mean more competition as potential tenants weigh up the pros and cons of flexible workspace versus leasing a small suite.

2) Flexible workspace providers will start targeting major corporates

This is one of the more interesting trends that we are seeing.

Until recently, providers have been marketing to freelancers and startup companies. However, over the coming years, we will see a growing number of companies embracing flexible workspace as a business tool to:

  • enhance the productivity of their increasingly mobile and flexible workforce
  • remain innovative
  • collaborate with top talent
  • reduce commercial real estate costs
  • stay on top of potential disruptions within their industry.

Large corporations, such as Google, and some Australian and US banks, have already made the shift, with some even investing in their own facilities. In the 16/17 financial year alone, WeWork cited a 360% increase in members from enterprise companies. Other reports show that, by 2020, 65% of companies expect to use flexible workspace as part of their business portfolio and 40% of the workforce will be temps, independent contractors or freelancers.

3) Increase in subleasing to flexible workspace providers

We also expect to see an increase in tenants subletting their vacant or unused space to flexible workspace providers. Strategy-wise, this gives the sublessor/main occupier the option to keep additional space for future business growth. It also allows them to collaborate and network with the businesses the providers bring in.

Become a flexible workspace member

If you are looking for a friendly and proactive flexible workspace environment for yourself or your team, get in touch with the team at Tenant CS.

We will deliver up-to-date insights into collaborative spaces and provide you with the best market options according to your requirements. Don’t delay – contact us today to see how you can incorporate flexible workspace facilities into your real estate portfolio.

Coworking \infographic
Ifographic | 10 interesting facts about coworking spaces

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The Author

Timothy Battut joined Tenant CS Australia in 2018 in order to support the tenant representation Sydney team. After one year he moved to Singapore, where he now works for the team as a Business Development Manager.

Timothy has a Bachelor Double Degree in International Business from Groupe ESC Clermont (France) and can speak three languages (English, French and Spanish).

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