Most organizations operate digitally by default in the 21st century, allowing workers to work from anywhere. As a result, employees can be just as efficient from home or at a local, flexible workspace as they are in a regular office.
Because of this ubiquitous capacity to work from anywhere, the number of individuals working from home in places like the UK has doubled in only a decade, with the coronavirus pandemic causing the highest increase in adoption of home working ever in 2020. However, the dominance of digital platforms does not just allow for home working. It’s also helping to promote the emergence of the flexible workspace.
The flexible space market witnessed dramatic changes due to the COVID-19 crisis, significantly diminishing the necessity for short-term workstations. However, according to a recent study by JLL, the demand for flexible space is not only here to stay but is expected to grow. By 2030, it is expected that 30% of all office space will be utilized flexibly.
Flexible space has evolved from a negligible corporate sector to a crucial development component in most worldwide gateway cities over the previous decade, accounting for over 10-20% of leasing transactions in numerous markets in 2019.
Adopting a flexible workspace saves money on things like leasing a private office, purchasing equipment, and managing the space. Organizations that choose a flexible workspace may get right to the main part of running a company. This concept is especially beneficial to startups that are attempting to run as lean a business as feasible.
In 2019, just 4% of workplaces were flex spaces, and the quick rise in popularity of flexible workspaces has sparked forecasts about how big the niche can become. For example, JLL predicts that flexible or coworking spaces would make up 30% of corporate real estate portfolios by 2030, while Instant Offices predicts that 35% of offices will be flexible in some fashion by 2023.
What drives the flexible workspace industry’s demand?
According to Instant Offices’ study, more than 31,000 flexible office spaces were available globally in 2018, with the market growing at a 35% annual rate. This rapid expansion is fueled by fundamental shifts in what businesses want from offices, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
There are many reasons why more companies are opting for flexible workplaces over traditional offices, but here are a few of the most important.
Solutions for working near home
Working near home is a middle ground between mandatory office attendance and working remotely. It’s founded on the premise that by employing a flexible workspace near them, employees may have all the benefits of working from home while also getting the benefits of working in an office.
Cost-effectiveness and simplicity
In the conventional sense, leasing an office entails engaging a lawyer to interpret the agreements, employing an expert to design the space, hiring an IT firm to put up equipment, purchasing all of the amenities to keep staff happy, maintaining on top of maintenance, and hiring cleaners. Flexible workplaces reduce all of these duties, which detract from really conducting business.
An increasing number of startups
The number of new firms starting up in the UK is currently at the highest level ever achieved, and with that development comes an increased need for low-cost, low-commitment workplaces that can be utilized flexibly. Coworking spaces and hybrid offices, in particular, provide the ideal atmosphere for startup enterprises to network and grow alongside other startups.
Demand for freelancers
The number of independent employees in the country is also increasing, with the self-employed sector increasing by 31% between 2018 and 2019. The more freelancers there are, the greater the desire for flexible workplaces appears to be, just as it is with startups.
The office has evolved from being only an expensive means to a goal to something that may generate value in and of itself. Flexible workspaces are the future of the workplace, allowing companies to attract the finest people no matter where they are and offering employees locations that function better for them.
However, because the rapid change in the commercial office property market is unlikely to halt anytime soon, staying relevant and prospering in this fast-paced business necessitates a fundamental rethinking of flexible space.
Flexible workspace will keep expanding from a niche industry to a key and dominant component of commercial real estate. It will become completely assimilated with not only traditional office buildings, but also retail commercial complexes, multi-housing schemes, and other property types as exposure and use grow.
Consequently, service quality will be the next battleground where customers will be won or lost as individuals pursue a new livelihood, spurred by modern work strategies.