It’s expected that companies offering flexible offices will be the next big thing in London, with it predicted such companies could represent 20% of leases in central London by 2030.
What are flexible offices?
Not familiar with the concept? Let us explain. Flexible offices are spaces which allow for co-working and flexible working. What this means is individuals working remotely have a space to work amongst other workers if they so wish, as well as start-ups and other companies having the opportunity to flexibly rent a small space with no long-term commitment. Consider it a turn-key office space that offers the flexibility to rent and adapt a workspace quickly and affordably according to business needs.
There are a variety of options on the market when it comes to flexible offices, but with the sheer amount of workers buying into this new setup, it goes without saying that one size doesn’t fit all. The requirements of a space will differ from business to business and from individual to individual e.g. the level of privacy, security, desired amenities and workspace capabilities.
Essentially flexible offices promote a lifestyle, not just a business environment. A new generation of employees and companies are rebelling against the traditional office environment in favour of a community-focused setting which promotes wellbeing and ease.
What can we expect?
Companies such as WeWork and Spaces currently dominate the flexible working arena, yet real estate firm CRBE has estimated the occupancy of these types of offices could grow to 34 million square feet over the next ten years, up from 9.9 million square feet as is seen currently.
Companies large and small are now seeing flexible offices as a fast and nimble approach to the market, and it’s expected that the adoption of flexible spaces will only continue to grow once procurement departments of larger organisations begin to incorporate flexible working arrangements into their processes.
Managing director of Flex at CRBE noted “As employees begin to expect a more holistic office experience, employers are becoming more willing to pay for these in order to attract and retain talent. As a result, we are seeing landlords evolve their offering, which is driving change in a traditionally rigid asset class”.
With changing expectations from employees seemingly driving this uptake of flexible offices, can we expect all companies to jump on the flexible workspace trend?
Well, maybe not straight away. Although flexible office spaces are expected to soar, that doesn’t mean companies aren’t faced with some significant challenges. Privacy is a huge factor when it comes to companies opting for flexible offices, particularly in being able to maintain specific IT requirements. Overall though, flexible offices are most certainly here to stay.
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