The flexible workspace industry has experienced a significant boom in the past few years, despite being quite a young market. In its early years, the flexible workspace industry was considered a market disruptor; it was also treated as a complimentary sub-sector to the office market. This outlook, however, has changed over the course of time with different players joining the market and more coworking spaces emerging across the metro. Colliers International reported that in 2017, there are 80 flexible workspace centers in Metro Manila. Since this boom, more and more people are getting behind the concept of coworking. Growth has been steady and more providers are starting to get involved in the market.
This 2019, experts have predicted more growth in the flexible workspace industry. Here are some notable predictions and trends in the coworking industry that you should watch out for this 2019:
Increase in joint ventures
READ MORE: Acceler8 by UnionSPACE collaborates with PHINMA Properties and opens its third workspace in Makati
There will be more real estate corporations venturing in entering the flexible office market. While this isn’t a particularly new trend in the industry, with Ayala and PHINMA Properties working with coworking brand Acceler8 before, some experts foresee that there will be more players to enter the market through joint ventures with other coworking providers. Will Kinnear of Property Week predicts that in 2019, more real estate developers will be more aggressive in going into partnerships with coworking providers. These tie-ups provide the building owner with the confidence that the space will be run professionally by experts while also ensuring they get a portion of the upside. This also guarantees the workspace provider a wider reach in their market.
More coworking spaces in business districts
More coworking spaces are expected to occupy major business districts. Prime locations, such as Rockwell Center in Makati, Bonifacio Global City, and Paseo de Roxas in Makati will continue to be populated by more flexible workspaces. These prime addresses are the ideal locations for coworking spaces because of the prestige, comfort, and accessibility that comes with it.
On top of this, central business districts offer more than accessibility and prestige. Staying in a high-end location means staying in a good location with lots of natural lighting and outside views. Ivy Cheung and Mohamed Boubekri discovered that workers in offices with natural light had a higher quality of sleep and better productivity compared to employees in windowless offices. Meanwhile, the latter didn’t just perform at a lesser degree, they also lost more sleep at 46 minutes less than those in windowed offices. This means less light equals less productivity. By introducing more natural light in the office, the people become more inspired to work and collaborate, leading to a much productive environment in the office.
Globalization of providers
Going global is the next step for flexible workspace providers this year. The ability to offer customers multinational locations when it comes to workspaces and varied global opportunities for networking is a powerful differentiator and a major selling point for workspace providers. Expanding and establishing a workspace system abroad is one sure way to make your coworking brand future-proof in such a highly competitive and fast-growing industry.
Green spaces in the office
One design trend that is starting to gain popularity is the integration of green areas in the workspace. Green spaces are mainly implemented to improve employee wellness, as can be seen in a study done by the University of Washington, greeneries inside the office can alleviate stress and help employees think better. In a study done by the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment tested several subjects on crisis response, information usage and strategy in two settings: a conventional work environment and a “green” work environment. Results of the study showed that those that worked from the green environment were 97% more effective in crisis response, 172% more proficient in information usage, and 183% more strategically minded than those in the conventional setting.
Corporate adoption of coworking
This coming year, it is projected that more corporations will be adopting the concept of coworking in their respective companies in the future. One company that has started to adapt the coworking system is HSBC, one of the leading Asian banks. In 2016, they moved 300 staff members to hot desks, and this shift has saved their company about HK $23,000 per person annually. This shift to hot desks is also a conscious decision of HSBC in an effort to build up its digital capabilities. Corporations moving to coworking spaces opens up their companies to more organic connections, not just to other big conglomerates, but to startups, SMEs, individuals who do freelance, and other up and coming companies.
With all these predictions and trends considered, 2019 is shaping up to be a fruitful and action-packed year for the flexible workspace industry. UnionSPACE is one of the global coworking providers to look out for this year. To learn more about our services, you can visit their website http://www.unionspace.com/.