Forecasts: More businesses and companies will turn to flexible workspace options

Forecasts: More businesses and companies will turn to flexible workspace options

Steen Uno
Global researches and forecasts all agree: Within the next four years, flexible workspaces are to grow by more than 50%. Increasingly businesses across the world are looking for a coworking or flexible office space.
Steen Uno

The flexible workspace industry continues to thrive, expand and evolve. According to different researches, approximately 30% of office space occupied by corporate companies is predicted to be flex workspace in 2030.

Despite recent years' hype around coworking, the flexible workspace industry still performs and develops in the early adoption phase in several global markets. Today yet far from 10% of the office real estate market is flex.

At the moment the global market overall is expected to increase at high growth rates until 2023 supported by various growth drivers as cost reduction, variable property cost, uncertain economic environment, changing the working pattern, etc..

In 2018 the market exposed a record number of 2,188 new space openings. According to the latest forecasts, flexible global spaces are about to cross the 20,000 marks and look set to reach 26,000 by 2022.

New businesses

"Today´s flexible workspace provides a habitat that supports staff wellness and welfare, helping companies become productive and happy places of work. As a result, the flexible workspace industry has attracted large corporations, enterprise companies, fintech, etc..

Two-thirds of all new space openings globally are new businesses entering the market. The remainder is established operators, large chains and franchises," states Richard Smith, CEO of Office Freedom, a global flexible workspace brokerage.  


Two-thirds of new space openings globally are new businesses entering the market,
the remainder is established operators, large chains and franchises
                                                                                   Photo: Trend Micro Offices Singapore


A recent report published by Office Freedom presented that the number of new workspaces in central London last year grew by 42%, making the city one of the highest growth markets of flexible workspace in the world. On average, a new coworking space opens in London every five days. 

Inevitable, this tremendous growth is generating more competitive rates and lowering the cost of flex office spaces - over the last two years, office prices in several areas of London have fallen by up to 33%. 

Significant increase

With the number of freelancers and remote workers globally continuing to rise, the flexible workspace industry will evolve and let the shift towards coworking and other flex workspace options play an even more prominent role in how and where we work.

According to a report released by global law firm Ropes & Gray, all 100 surveyed senior real estate executives watch a moderate to a significant increase in the proportion of startups using coworking, with 92% saying the same about self-employed individuals and 73% saying the same about large companies.


With the number of freelancers and remote workers globally continuing to rise, the
flexible workspace industry will evolve and shift towards flex office options.


"Technology makes off-site working possible and practical, improving work-life balance for employees, reducing costs for companies of all sizes. Also, the current low-growth economic environment is pressing companies to increase productivity," the report states.

73% of the respondents believe an economic downturn would have a positive effect on the flex office space sector, and 61% of lenders say this model is less vulnerable to the impact of a recession than traditional office real estate because a downturn would give rise to self-employment increasing the demand for flexible workplace options.

Leading markets

The world's largest procurer of serviced office space, Instant Offices, estimates that flexible space represents between 3% and 5% of overall office space in the world's leading markets.

Over the next five years, this figure predictably will reach close to 10% as the landlords of conventional space increase the proportion of their portfolios given over to flex space to meet client demand for "non-lease" workspace.


In the most developed markets in the world, London and NYC, the growth of flexible
workspace market has remained at 17% and 20% respectively.
                                                                                                           Research: Instant Offices 


In their newly released Global Cities Report, Instant Offices analyze 18 global cities, which according to the international office space broker, represent the current largest markets for flexible workspace.

"London still has so many more flex workspace options than its rival international cities, other than New York City. Markets such as Paris, Tokyo, and Chicago do not have the total supply of centres that matches their international business profile so we can assume significant growth in the coming years," the report points out.  ● 




Read more: The number of flexible workspaces set to increase Coworking - a real estate revolution? The top 18 markets for Flexible Workspace in 2019 The rise of flex spaces helps maintain
                                                                        real estate industry optimism on top









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