Some flexible office operators are optimistic about the growth of suburban hubs in the future as people move away from the cities to seek more space and a lower cost of living.
A report from Workthere revealed that 17% of 100 global operators believe that this transition to the suburbs will be the biggest change in the industry over the next five years.
Shifting their efforts towards the suburbs allows operators to not only diversify their portfolio, but also gives them a better opportunity to accommodate the growing number of workers who want to work closer to their homes.
“The operators have definitely bought into the opportunity, the big question is to what extent it will happen,” said Cal Lee, head of Workthere Global.
Lee added that tenants have said they want to give their employees a bigger say in where they work, leading many to consider the hub-and-spoke model.
However, organizations are still in the experimental phase of their new workplace strategies, so it is unclear whether this trend will stick or not. In fact, a Bisnow survey of 1,200 commercial real estate professionals revealed that 17.4% of respondents want to work in a suburban outpost, while 56.2% would prefer to return to a central hub office.
In addition to the migration away from cities, some operators are expecting management agreements, online booking platforms and transformed retail spaces to become more popular in the coming years.