The number of shared office operators in Europe has risen by 135 percent in the last four years, with the volume and area of centers providing this type of rental increasing by 205 percent over the same period, according to a survey by consulting firm Colliers International.
This growth was caused by a combination of various factors, such as more flexible employment, shifts in corporate culture and workspace use, government support, and changes in accounting systems. All these indicators indicate future growth. To all this is added the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has dominated global events over the past few months.
What is a flexible office?
"A flexible work environment is a system that allows companies of all sizes to take advantage of an environment other than traditional offices. The company, just like when you go to the hotel, gets the keys at the door and the others take care of the others. The entrepreneur can then only solve his affairs," says Adam Zvada, owner of Scott. Weber.
According to Adam Zvada, head of the eight branches of the Scott.Weber network, a significant problem is that the current restrictions apply not only to the so-called coworking centers but also to their customers, i.e. companies that rent workspaces. "Last year was successful for us, occupancy reached 95 percent. This year, due to restrictions, it was a bit lower, but we can still talk about success. I believe that next year will be like this, I also expect a significant expansion of demand," says Zvada in an interview with Seznam Zprávy.
The entrepreneur uses this time to build other centers. "We see that the model of flexible offices will grow very dramatically in the future. We currently have eight locations. We would also like to grow in Brno and Ostrava, "describes Zvada's plans.
In addition, as part of the development of his business, Scott.Weber will open a brand new branch next month. And as its boss says, it is a building in the most lucrative location in Prague - Wenceslas Square. How special the location of the new building is, other tenants of the building also prove. In addition to Scott.Weber, fashion giant Primark, Apple and other major global brands are also heading there.
"Wenceslas Square will be a premium headquarters that will increase the ability of companies to build their corporate culture and use a place that is unparalleled in terms of attractiveness in the Czech Republic while operating in a flexible model where tenants can end up from month to month. That's a big advantage," says the entrepreneur. "Currently, we have over 50 percent of the capacity pre-leased in the Flow building on Wenceslas Square," he added.
One of the companies that are going to move into the offices in the Flow Building in the coming weeks is the PR company Rubikon.
"Flexible offices make a lot of sense to us, on the one hand, we have dedicated places for those who want to work from one place and one environment every day. Often it is people with family or those who want to clearly separate work and home, prefer a certain order and routine. At the same time, however, we have access to the coworking zone for all employees, so we can meet at any time and discuss things in person,” describes the advantages of the flexible office of Šimon Rákosník for Rubikon.
The most interesting locations for the office market
Prague 8 - Karlin
Prague 4 - Pankrac
Prague 1 - New Town
Prague 5 - Smíchov
Every office attracts a different type of people
According to Adam Zvada, every location where office buildings stand attracts other companies. The offices must thus adapt to the nature of the company and especially to the preferences of individual employees.
"Entrepreneurs with a similar style of dressing move in Karlín, they are sociable, they move a lot outside. On the contrary, offices in Prague 1 are mostly used by consulting, legal or marketing companies. Their employees usually take a taxi. On the other hand, people come to Karlín either in Tesla, by bike, or even run in,” describes the diversity of the clientele.
Every location that is created under the hands of the operator of flexible offices is thus adapted to the clientele that the company is waiting for. While premiums and design brands will play a major role in Wenceslas Square, in Karlín the offices, on the other hand, are in an industrial and freestyle that encourages creativity.
Although the crisis has hit the main office market really hard, according to Adam Zvada, it cannot be expected to disappear in the next few years. But it is already clear that the classic offices will be very difficult in the coming months.
"Many companies now probably won't want a huge office building where hundreds of employees meet. These buildings can serve as representative seats at most, the daily work of employees will be in a slightly different form," confirms the words of Zvada Vít Řezníček, marketing manager of the coworking center HubHub.
"I dare to say that from the current situation, coworking and flexible offices will come out stronger in the long run and their market share will increase at the expense of traditional offices. At the same time, the market for coworking and flexible offices could be stabilized. Because in a given situation, smaller players may leave the market, who were dependent, for example, exclusively on freelancers, whose business was directly affected by the crisis. Such cases have already occurred in the Czech Republic. Those coworking and flexible offices that withstand more complex periods will benefit from the change of preferences on the part of companies and clients," added Řezníček on behalf of HubHub.
Every day a different office
Scott.Weber is sure of the growing demand for flexible offices. "Prague is not a big business metropolis, but I think that if we are on three percent of the total office space today, we can talk about some twenty-five percent in the future, for example in the next five years, which is a huge change," the businessman plans.
The company already registers the first clients who left their offices and paid their employees flexible passports allowing them to work from any of the company's offices. According to their needs, they can work one day in Karlín in a private office, the next, for example, in Anděl in a coworking shared space and the third day rent a conference space in Prague 1. “It is a new concept by which companies can keep talented people and strengthen corporate culture and enable their people to communicate," he added in conclusion.
Source: Seznam Zprávy