Flexible Workspace Industry Research

Corporates are big business

As an industry, flexible workspace is an opportunity-rich hybrid that can – and frequently does – branch out into many new and exciting avenues.

But words alone don’t do justice to the strength and vitality of the flexible workspace sector. We need statistics to give us a clear indication of how and where the industry is developing, its strengths and weaknesses, the challenges that lay ahead, and its ultimate potential.

That’s why we’re collecting workspace research papers from all corners of the industry for the purpose of reference, guidance, and comparison. We hope you find these resources useful, but let it be said that even the best-laid plans and the most thorough forecasts can’t predict the future, nor the opportunities that lay ahead.

As architect Daniel Libeskind says: “Life it is not just a series of calculations and a sum total of statistics, it’s about experience, it’s about participation, it is something more complex and more interesting than what is obvious.”

If you have any additional resources or research studies to add, please contact the editors.

2016 Research

Emerging Trends in Real Estate: The Global Outlook for 2016

By: PwC and Urban Land Institute

Released: March 2016

The Emerging Trends in Real Estate series of reports are produced annually by PwC and the Urban Land Institute following interviews and surveys with property professionals across the world. Although not solely focused on flexible workspace, it offers important insights into the wider commercial property industry and the business trends that will most likely impact our sector in the near future.

View the report here

More editions of the Emerging Trends in Real Estate series, covering specific markets including the US and Canada, Europe, and Asia Pacific, can be found online here.

2015 Research

The Global Coworking Survey: 2015-16

By: Deskmag and SocialWorkplaces.com

Released: November 2015

Initial results from the Global Coworking Survey were presented during the annual Coworking Europe Conference in Milan. The research shows that the number of coworking spaces have grown by 36% between 2014 – 2015, which puts the number of coworking spaces worldwide at around 7,800 with approximately half a million members.

View the report here (Slideshare) or via Pinterest infographic

View Deskmag’s analysis


The London Business Footprint – The Growth of Serviced Offices

By: Deloitte Real Estate

Released: 2015 (covers data from 2004 – 2014)

When it comes to flexible workspace, London is often described as ‘its own world’. Rents, deals and occupancy levels are on a different scale to other cities in the UK, so it comes as no surprise that Deloitte’s investigation into Central London’s serviced office market identify a 67% increase in serviced office floorspace between 2004-2014 and a growing base of occupiers.

View the report here


Serviced Office Review – UK

By: Instant Offices

Released: 2015 (covers 2014 data)

Serviced and managed office space broker, Instant Offices, released an insightful overview based on its data of the UK market. It found “robust growth” in terms of new centre openings and increased average workstation rates, citing improvements in the economy as a major driver behind a 3.6% increase in the number of serviced offices across the UK, and a 11.4% increase in workstation rates.

View the report here

US Real Estate Insights

By: PwC

Released: Autumn 2015

The Latest News
Delivered To Your Inbox

Focusing on the commercial real estate industry in the US and Canada, PwC offers perspectives on the latest market and economic trends that impact the real estate sector – and will therefore have a bearing on flexible workspace.

View the report here

Serviced Office Leasing in the US: Market Research Report

By: IBISWorld

Released: January 2015

A market research report covering industry statistics, market size and growth prospects with analysis of the factors influencing companies, including new product developments, direct influences, distribution and supply chain factors and pricing.

View the report here (full version requires purchase)

2014 Research

The UK Business Centre Market

By: The Business Centre Association (BCA) with IPD and Snapdragon Consulting

Released: October 2014

The BCA’s in-depth survey identified that UK flexible workspace operators occupy almost 70 million square feet of commercial space across the country. Around 80,000 businesses use business centres, which in turn employ over 400,000 people and generate approximately £2 billion of income.

View the report here (Executive Summary only; full version requires purchase)


The Coworking Revolution


Released: September 2014

DTZ’s report on the growth of coworking offers insight into the key drivers behind the flexible workspace model, such as the mobile technology revolution and a surge in home-based self-employment. It looks back as well as forwards, basing its research on DTZ’s own internal studies as well as various external resources.

View the report here


Serviced Offices and Agile Occupiers in the City of London  

By: City of London Corporation with Ramidus Consulting Limited.

Released: October 2014

Focused solely on the City of London (the capital’s financial district), this highly detailed report examines the role of the serviced office market and key characteristics including its size, operators, occupiers, and trends. At the time of release the report identified 85 serviced office centres in the City’s Square Mile spanning a combined area of two million square feet, representing 3% of the City’s total office stock space.

View the report here

2013 Research

Occupier Density Study 2013

By: British Council for Offices (BCO)

Released: September 2013

This report analysed the occupation of almost 2.5 million square metres of office space, spread across 381 properties and 1331 individual floors.

View the report here (courtesy of The Architects’ Journal)


Archives: Research from 2012 and Earlier

2012: Instant Offices

North America Executive Suite Review

2012: Property Week with MWB Business Exchange

At Your Service – The cost effectiveness of serviced offices vs conventional leases.

2001: Business Centre Capital Co. Ltd

The Performance of Business Centres Over a Complete Sales Cycle

1998/99: Virginia A Gibson & Colin M Lizieri, The University of Reading

Change & Flexibility – The role of serviced office space in office markets and corporate

property portfolios.