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With flexspace expected to account for 30% of all US office space by 2030, this is one trend that’s here to stay
In the US, the trend for flexible office space has truly taken off as confidence increases among small business-owners. According to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recorded an increase in the latest Small Business Optimism Index as companies continued to create jobs, raise wages and expand business.
At the same time, the popularity of flexible offices has grown alongside business confidence, with Manhattan recording a rise of 23% this year alone according to commercial real-estate services firm CBRE. It’s part of a winder trend that has seen demand for flexspace increase by a staggering 600% over the past decade in the US. Since the lease and the physical space of a coworking venture are by their nature flexible, they can be adapted to fit the precise demands of a business – and they also come equipped with the agility to respond to the changing demands of the business community.
A well-established flexspace-provider in the US, IWG’s Regus and SPACES are two of the brands it operates here. In Manhattan’s Chrysler Building, Regus has maintained an 18,000sq ft office on the 26th floor for the last 20 years. “When Regus came to the US in 1998,” Michael Berretta, IWG’s Vice President of Network Development, told the New York Post, “the industry was focused around buildings that the typical individual may not be able to get into from the standpoint of capital investment and availability of space.” Here, customers can enjoy vintage mahogany millwork and antique Art Deco detailing at a fraction of the cost a traditional office in a similar setting – not to mention the view. “It would be difficult for a company with one or two individuals to get into a marquee property and afford to build it out and have it tailored to them specifically,” Berretta added.
Elsewhere in the Chrysler, IWG has also introduced its SPACES concept with 1,200 desks over three floors. Designed to appeal to the millennial mindset, the brand’s Scandinavian heritage plays a big part in the look and feel of a coworking setup that features private booths for individual working and informal meetings, plus private offices, communal areas and a light-flooded event space. “The acquisition was in response to existing customer demand for offices with ‘a different look and feel’,” Berretta said.
It’s not just New York that’s enjoying the growth in flexspace either. According to another commercial real-estate services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), “coworking and other flexible real estate solutions are reshaping the US office market” wherever you look. Incredibly, coworking and flexspace currently account for less than 5% of office space – meaning the scope for market expansion is huge, with JLL estimating an increase to 30% by 2030. Whatever size your business – from one-man band to international corporation, flexspace is working for the US.