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Generator has been in the flexible office space game for 11 years. Since we started in the wake of the GFC, the industry has been constantly evolving. But never faster than in the last two years. The impact of the pandemic on changing ways of working has seen the industry evolve at lightning speed.
Fortunately, to help track local trends Bayleys prepares an annual Coworking+ report.
We chatted with Ankur Dakwale, one of the analysts behind the report about his key takeaways.
Describe your role at Bayleys and in pulling together the Coworking+ report
My role in the Bayleys Coworking+ report was to gather all the required data required contacting operators from around the country, talking to and learning about the market from people who are part of it on a day-to-day basis. Then compile all major trends concisely to inform and educate the market on the current trends and outlook of the flexible space industry in New Zealand.
What did you see as the big trend over the last 12 months?
It was interesting to see the trends over the last 12 months as we navigated various stages of lockdown in the second half of 2021. The biggest would be the higher number of conversations landlords are undertaking about introducing flexible space as part of their building or into their portfolio.
What do you expect to see as some of the trends in the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months, some of the trends we expect to see are how the currently inflated construction costs and supply chain delays affect the growth of flexible spaces. The other trend we expect is how operators change or update their business models to differentiate themselves from others; this could be to their menu of offerings, different styles of offerings or to the physical space itself.
Do you think Covid has accelerated a shift towards a broader range of businesses and industries choosing flexible workspace?
Yes – COVID has eroded geographical boundaries and the need to be in the office. Businesses have realised they can have people working from home and maintain high levels of performance; this has changed the purpose of the office from just a place to come to work.
The pandemic has prompted smaller companies to look more closely at flexible office space options to provide functional workspace with team-building and networking opportunities and high levels of amenity without the fixed costs and longer lease structures usually offered by the traditional office market. The rotating of teams is becoming popular, so business owners are seeking flexible office space options to effectively accommodate more office workers per desk, where a given team at any given time can work onsite.
One piece of advice for a business that is considering a move to flexible space
Get in touch with your preferred flexible space; some operators and models will suit your business more than others. Once you get in touch with an operator, you will realise if the flexible space or that particular space is right for your business.
The Bayleys Coworking+ report is useful for any business considering a move into flexible space to understand the different flex space providers available, key trends and pricing.