Coworking companies and other flexible office options have evolved the real estate leasing landscape. At Bisnow’s NYC Office & Workplace of the Future event, analysts and experts discussed the future of the workplace and how an economic downturn could affect the market.
Flexibility is one of the major perks of coworking spaces and has most likely been the major contributing factor to its massive growth. But the pace in which the sector has grown has left some worried that these workspaces are not sustainable.
“The first thing [that happens in a recession] is that two-person company goes back to working from home or from a coffee shop, and so if you spent a lot of money on small boxes … you are in trouble fast,” said Eugene Lee, Chief Investment Officer of flexible office firm Knotel.
While some experts believe that companies will move towards flexibility in the face of a downturn, others believe that traditional offices will become the safe haven as businesses look towards the bare minimum.
Companies are increasingly adding more flashy amenities in order to attract and retain talent, but in the event of a recession, these eye-catching add-ons may start to dwindle.
“The commitment to the things that make people healthier will shrink,” said Rachel Casanova Cushman & Wakefield Senior Managing Director of Workplace Innovation. “The barista might turn into an espresso machine.”