The global commercial real estate sector has experienced rapid change in recent years, with health and safety measures implemented due to the recent pandemic emptying commercial office spaces – especially so in the CBD – and inciting a worldwide shift to flexible work arrangements for many workers.
This shift has created much positive change in the world of work, resulting in fewer location-driven limitations, driving a greater work-life balance, and contributing to higher levels of productivity and performance.
Employees now expect more choice when it comes to where, when, and how they work, which has led to organisations reevaluating their use of office space and resisting long-term traditional leases to accommodate hybrid work.
Developers, owners, and managers of commercial office buildings (commonly referred to as landlords) are facing the challenge of providing in-demand amenities, services, and spaces to attract quality tenants and continue to generate revenue.
As a solution, many landlords are now forming partnerships with coworking operators and other hospitality operators.
The Future is Flex
The needs of the modern worker have evolved – they now value flexibility and curated workspace experiences, including a broad range of amenities, hospitality-led service, sustainable design, and the opportunity to connect with coworkers. 87% of companies say the pandemic has changed the role of the office for their organisation, meaning it’s less about people at desks and more about the experience of the office.
Flexible work gives greater power to employees to work on their own terms, aligning their ‘career’ life and ‘personal’ life. Especially so for people who may have a family to take care of, and regional workers who want to cut down on commute time.
Flexible workspaces provide the ideal ‘third space’ to access valuable office time, conduct meetings, and host clients in a hospitality-led service environment, as well as access to a thriving business community with a range of networking opportunities.
With JLL predicting 30% of office space to be flexible in some form by 2030, landlords looking to benefit from the ever-growing demand in flexible workspaces are partnering with coworking operators to elevate their spaces.
Designing and managing spaces fit for flexible work is a very specific skillset, mastered by coworking operators who understand occupier needs and can create a workspace experience that helps landlords maintain long-term tenant relationships and maximise asset value.
An Elevated Property Portfolio
Coworking operators have the knowledge and capacity to implement a financially-viable business model, design a workspace and membership framework that addresses expectations, and pursue a high intensity marketing and sales campaign to ensure high levels of occupancy for landlords.
By partnering with these expert operators, landlords can elevate their property portfolio or single building asset through offering a space that tenants actually want to utilise, on flexible terms, reducing real or potential vacancy.
Many coworking operators create flexible workspaces that are sustainability and impact-driven in their design, achieving global certifications that communicate how the space positively impacts the health and well-being of its occupants—including being B Corp certified, carbon neutral certified through Climate Active, and achieving a WELL Health-Safety Rating.
Work-near-home has emerged as yet another way to work in a post-Covid climate, giving suburban workers the opportunity to access quality workplace facilities without the commute. Such an offering is ideal for workers whose homes may not be suitable to work from, or who are feeling isolated yet still want to avoid long travel times to the company HQ. Landlords looking to fill hard-hit retail vacancies can now turn to coworking operators to create purpose-built flexible workspaces in suburban retail centres, diversifying and bolstering their property portfolio.
The Workspace as an Experience
A rich hospitality-led service offering and a broad range of amenities are now defining factors for the success of any commercial office asset. Simply providing office space, ergonomic desks and chairs, and basic facilities are no longer enough. A workspace needs to offer occupiers an experience.
Coworking operators have realised the potential that flexible workspaces have in existing to provide premium services and amenities to the modern worker that is unlike any other traditional office stock. This includes features like a business lounge and café, a dedicated hospitality team, podcast studio, mail, phone, and virtual office services, as well as access to social events and a vibrant business community.
This article appears courtesy of Hub Australia on their website here.
FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE AUSTRALIA
Flexible Workspace Australia is the peak body for coworking and flexible workspace providers and partners across all cities and regions of Australia.