Tokyo’s flexible workspace market shot up last year thanks to coworking giant WeWork entering the market.
Flexible workspaces grew to 156,000 square meters in Tokyo’s 5 wards last year, up 48% from 2017. WeWork itself operates over 40,000 square meters in the city.
“WeWork has significantly impacted the status quo of the flexible workspace industry in Tokyo’s CBD,” said Tomoyo Nakamaru of JLL Research in Tokyo. “Demand for community-oriented shared workspaces is picking up sharply as large corporates are focused on work environments that generate innovative ideas and boost growth.”
In 2019, flexible workspace in Tokyo’s CBD is expected to grow 20% and continue on into 2020.
The shift towards flexible working is also able to bring the discussion of Japanese workplace culture to the forefront, which has been focused on long office hours. Now, a new law will address issues such as overtime, paid leave and other work-related problems.
With demand so high, serviced offices have also started adding lounges and common areas to their spaces.
Developers such as Mitsui Fudosan and Tokyu Land Corporation have launched their own coworking and serviced office brands as well.