SINGAPORE, 16 May 2018 – Demand for flexible offices – including coworking spaces and serviced offices – is growing faster in Asia Pacific than anywhere else in the world, according to new research by real estate consultant JLL. The region’s stock of flexible floor space is growing at 35.7 per cent per year compared to 25.7 percent in the US and 21.6 per cent in Europe.
The report, which looks at major coworking and serviced office operators in 12 Asia Pacific markets, reveals that the number of major flexible space operators has doubled, while flexible floor space has increased by 150 per cent between 2014 and 2017.
“By 2030, flexible work spaces could comprise 30 per cent of corporate commercial property portfolios worldwide,” says Jeremy Sheldon, Managing Director, Markets & Integrated Portfolio Services, JLL Asia Pacific. “Although corporate adoption is still in its early days, there are certain factors that will continue to make this region a hot spot for coworking growth.”
A key driver, says the report, is that governments are encouraging entrepreneurship to offset the slow growth in traditional industries such as manufacturing, and are offering financial resources and backing for small companies, many of whom locate in coworking-style spaces.
For example, in Singapore, the government has supported the development of flexible locations such as the JTC LaunchPad, which is home to a number of tech start-ups. Similarly, the New South Wales government supported the development of Sydney Startup Hub, a 17,000sqm tech zone catering to aspiring entrepreneurs. Meanwhile reforms introduced by the Japanese government to improve work-life balance and productivity are also pushing domestic companies to explore more flexible ways of working.
The report also identifies plug-and-play simplicity as a factor in the growth in corporate demand, particularly for larger companies. The ability to move in and out of an office at short notice, and avoid complicated contract negotiations and fit-out work is a convenient option for many occupiers.
At the same time, businesses are looking to encourage collaboration among employees and are using shared workspaces as a way to foster innovation through exposure to new ideas and ways of working.
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