niche spaces are offering experiences such as co-living or childcare and they are opening in spaces considered to be underutilised
• New flexible workspace registrations more than double year on year
• 70% growth in new flexible workspace operators year on year
• Niche spaces expanding across Europe and Asia
According to the latest data from Office Freedom, new flexible workspaces and new workspace operators are both experiencing rapid growth. In the first six months of 2019 Office Freedom added 898 spaces to its portfolio, more than double that of the same period last year. In the same timeframe, there has been a 70% growth in the number of new operators registering space with us (143 in 2019 vs 84 in 2018).
The growth in the number of flexible workspaces has been global, with some of the strongest trends recorded in the Asia Pacific and USA regions. The US region has seen the most flexible spaces added to the Office Freedom portfolio. In 2019, 490 new spaces were registered. The UK, USA and EMEA regions have recorded the greatest number of new operators respectively.
Flexible workspaces to grow by 56% in the next four years
According to Coworking Resources the global flexible workspace market is set to grow by 56% between 2018 and 2022. With volumes growing from 16,599 spaces in 2018 to a predicted 25,968 spaces in 2022. As the market expands there is increased competition which naturally means that attracting and retaining new customers is paramount. It’s this desire to stay competitive and thrive that’s fuelling the expansion of niche spaces for certain business types e.g. health, tech, music, legal, film.
To enhance their appeal, niche spaces are offering experiences such as co-living or childcare and they are opening in spaces considered to be underutilised real estatesuch as hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.
Global investment in niche spaces
In June 2019, it was reported that New York based start-up Alma raised another $8M for its community and shared space for mental health professionals. The Wing, which describes itself as a members-only network full of work and community spaces for women has already received nearly $117M in investor funding.
The trend of creating flexible spaces for particular groups of people is especially interesting considering the diverse range of groups that are now catered for.
In LA, Glitch City exists as a 24-hour coworking space for independent games developers. Writers are fully catered for at The Hatchery Press in Los Angeles. Even those working in the legal US cannabis industry can find a home at Paragon Spaces. In Denver you can find Tradecraft Industries a coworking space “bringing coworking to the construction industry”. For the tech community, Extra Slice claims to be the “ultimate technology campus and platform.”
Niche spaces expanding across Europe and Asia
Across Europe, Edspace in Hoxton, London welcomes those in education to join “Europe’s largest community of people changing education for good”. Village Underground, in Lisbon, offers a space for creativity and culture and is made from shipping containers and double decker buses. OneCoWorkMarina in Barcelona offers a beachfront dream where you can literally work on the water and OCW plans to open a further 40 locations (mainly across Europe) over the next four years. Naplab in Bangkok provides a mixture of co-working and co-napping in recognition that downtime away from work is as important as work itself.
For niche spaces to succeed in today’s market they need to provide more than simple convenience (such as secure wifi, free coffee, meeting rooms etc.) by supplementing these with unusual features and amenities. Their objectives go beyond attracting new members and look to achieving longevity through building and nurturing successful communities. Looking at the latest Office Freedom data, it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
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ABOUT OFFICE FREEDOM
Founded in 1993 by Richard Smith under its former name SOS Search Office Space, Office Freedom was the first real estate specialist to provide global tenant-rep services to clients seeking Flexible Workspace and Coworking space. Having pioneered this marketplace, it has now advised more than 38,000 clients and currently lists more than 13,000 offices across six continents. Today, it offers the full spectrum of flexible workplace solutions, including serviced offices, coworking spaces, flexible leases, meeting rooms, virtual offices, day offices and business continuity space.
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