THERE is increasing growth of flexible working globally. Last year, JLL released a report saying 30 per cent of corporate real estate would comprise flexible workspace by 2030.†
“That’s three in every 10 buildings. In the same year CBRE released its own report about flexible workspace, stating 71 per cent of occupiers believe they are vital to delivering corporate real-estate objectives, and the flexible office market is growing at 13 per year a year,” said Vijayakumar Tangarasan, Regus country head for Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
“But where is this boom coming from, and what does it mean for landlords?,” he asked.
Vijayakumar said that there are few reasons why flexible workspace has been taken off.
“The first is that technology has changed what’s possible. Within two years, 80 per cent of the world’s population will own a smartphone and 4G connections will represent 61 per cent of the total, up from 34 per cent in 2016. The cloud has grown exponentially, while artificial intelligence is helping us do daily tasks from a variety of sources.
“Indeed, over 50 per cent of Internet traffic could come from Internet of Things (IoTs) sensors by 2025. Put simply, it’s now increasingly easy for a person to plug in and work from anywhere and workers increasingly want to do so. For landlords, this boom means three key things for the way they view— and conduct—business in the era of flexible working,” he said.
In an article produced by Vijayakumar, he noted that the best way landlords can ensure they’re keeping up with the workplace revolution is by joining in.
This doesn’t mean abandoning conventional leases completely of course, but rather by adding flexible workspace into their portfolio, he added.
“Doing so will provide an option to tenants without removing the choice to have a long-term, traditional lease.”
On partnering with a flexible workspace provider, Vijayakumar said that one way to do this is splitting the project down the middle with a flexible workspace provider.
This would allow the same building to cater to businesses that may only be in the market for a flexible lease as well as larger businesses interested in long-term contracts.
Vijayakumar opined that opening a few floors in a classic office building that are designed for flexible working can help attract tenants that may become long-term customers with more traditional leases.
Landlords can also offer a long-term lease and one way to do this is by flexible workspace providers meeting traditional landlords “in the middle” on lease terms, by signing a long-term lease and taking on the risk of the space.
“By committing toa10-year lease, agile working companies can offer property owners the security of a long let while giving tenants the shorter term, adaptable contracts they crave.
Either way, partnering with flexible workspace providers can help traditional landlords make this leap. Agile office experts will be able to offer the service quickly and efficiently due to their experience in the area. Otherwise, traditional landlords face a steep learning curve when trying out the new model — and they may not be able to adapt quickly enough to meet demand. A strategic partnership can close this gap,” he said.
Vijayakumar also said that a vibrant co-working centre, with a changing cast of energetic business people, has knock-on benefits for the surrounding community and land-use, be it retail or longer term office lets.
Additionally, having flexible workspace has ramifications far above a single building.
Vijayakumar said that it can help to boost an entire portfolio as well as real estate within a larger area.
Co-labs Coworking Co-labs Coworking, a co-sharing workspace, announced its second establishment in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
The 20,000 sq ft office space at The Starling Mall, Damansara Uptown, is the biggest and second co-working office by Paramount Coworking and is part of its expansion plan where there will be four more co-working spaces next year.
Benjamin Teo, director of Co-labs Coworking and CEO of Paramount Property Development Sdn Bhd, said businesses today have evolved such that values, purpose and work culture are favoured over pure profit.
Teo said it is important for a business to be in an environment that provides employees opportunities to grow and develop their skills.
“At Co-labs Coworking we take growth and development a step further through our mentorship programme. We have a special relationship with FutureLab and collaborate with them to mentor our members regularly. Through a shared workspace and proper mentoring, Co-labs Coworking creates an environment where ideas shared there are challenged and refined to become actionable,” said Teo.
Co-labs Coworking is part of Paramount Property, a developer with over 35 years of track record.
With Paramount Property’s experience and expertise in development, the co-sharing workspace was built upon several pillars, namely connectivity, collaboration and the community.
The name Co-labs stems from the word ‘collaboration’. Its collaboration with FutureLab was formed to provide entrepreneurs, SMEs and freelancers thementorship they will require to achieve growth and development.
Co-labs Coworking@TheStarling is a thoughtfully designed workspace with lush greenery coupled with accents of 200-year-old upcycled Chengal wood furnishing sourced from an old shoe factory in Klang, Selangor. The wood is used on wall features, interiors and workstations.
The co-sharing workspace also provides its members with convenient amenities like nap pods, hot showers, a nursing room, an arcade room and a photography studio.