Is Flex Office Space Here to Stay?
A new report by JLL’s EMEA group reveals how the flexible office trend has been continuously growing and will probably maintain popularity thanks to technological advancements, a shift in work environments, and the popularity of the gig economy.
Europe’s top 10 largest flexible space markets grew by 30% in 2017. Since 2014, the market has doubled and represents about one-fifth of office leasing.
“In the last three years, the amount of flexible space in London, Amsterdam and Berlin has increased by about 25 to 35 percent each year,” according to Commercial Property Executive. “Other cities that have been part of the European flex space boom, fuelled by a rise in self-employment following the global financial crisis, includes Dublin and Copenhagen.”
JLL predicts that the growth will continue at 25 to 30% each year over the following five years, which equates to about 7 million square meters in workspace.
Readily available Wi-Fi, cloud connectivity, and other technological progressions have made working remotely incredibly simple. JLL reports that 56% of employees work out of other companies once a month, 54% worked from home, and 36% worked while riding on public transportation.
“For some companies, flexible office space enables them to act quickly if they need a temporary space, or to access a new market,” said Tom Carroll, head of EMEA Corporate Research at JLL.
“For others, it’s an opportunity to increase exposure to the zeitgeist in a particular industry or to help change their working culture.”
Changes in office space structures have also shaken up the market. Coworking spaces have introduced a whole new audience into the world of affordable, flexible offices.
Although coworking spaces have mostly consisted of startups and self-employed people, corporations have begun to delve into this up and coming style of working. The report states that corporate users will increase their coworking space use from 20 to 35% in the next five years.