It was still around 1.2% in 2018, but by the end of the first quarter this year it had already reached 3%, which corresponds to almost 110,000 m2 of modern office space. In addition, data from the CBRE consulting company suggest further positive developments in the future as well. In the first quarter of this year, 5,100 m2 of flexible office space was newly leased, representing a year-on-year increase of 23%.
Labor market changes
Significant benefits of coworking include greater flexibility than standard leases and a clearly defined amount of costs in advance without the risk of unexpected expenses. It is also a solution for companies that are trying to attract new talents from the ranks of millennials or are considering entering new markets. However, the current strong demand for coworking spaces is mainly due to the trends that are gaining ground in the labor market at the moment. "The first is getting people back into the office after the covid-19 pandemic subsides. A number of companies have changed their current strategy and set a certain number of days per week for their employees to spend in person at the workplace. This increase in the number of employees returning to their original, but newly modified or reduced offices after the pandemic creates a demand for flexible spaces," explains Helena Hemrová from CBRE and continues: "The second and no less important factor is that many offices are undergoing transformation or renovation at this very time. Companies are increasingly focusing on the spaces they operate in and their impact on both their employees and the environment. They are looking for ways to improve their attractiveness and sustainability. In order to speed up the reconstruction process, companies leave their own offices for a temporary period and instead use coworking centers."
Change of clientele
From the available data, it can be read that historically the demand for serviced offices in the metropolis has always been driven by companies from the technological sectors, especially the IT sector, however, in the last fifteen months there has been a structural change in demand. Consulting firms leased the largest number of shared spaces during this period (500 in total), followed by companies in the financial sector (300 spaces) and then technology (240 spaces). The average length of newly concluded contracts was 16 months.
Since 2018, the most space (almost 23,000 m2) in the metropolis has been leased to operators of serviced and flexible offices in the Pankrác and Budějovická areas, where the monthly fee for a workplace in a separate office is 375 euros. It was followed by the city center (21,000 m2) and Karlín (18,800 m2). "New centers are typically built with an average area of around 2,000 square meters. From 2018 to the first quarter of 2023, a total of 86,000 square meters of administrative real estate was leased in the metropolis for the purpose of operating shared offices, of which the largest share - 27% - was in the Pankrác-Budějovická area," describes the development of the coworking market in Prague, Lenka Ferguson from CBRE.
Not only the center is popular
The highest average rents are achieved by operators of coworking capacities in the city center. At the most prestigious addresses, such as Národní and Na Příkopě streets, the monthly fee for a workplace in a separate office is 400 euros. Only ten euros less is paid in the center of Karlín, where demand exceeds supply for a long time. “Serviced offices in locations further from the city center are also growing in popularity, mainly due to lower costs and the high standard of services offered. For example, in Chodov the basic monthly flat rate will cost 350 euros and in Stodůlky 330 euros," comments Lenka Ferguson.
Serviced and flexible office spaces are widely used by the entire corporate spectrum, from freelancers to large corporations, who offer them to their employees as a benefit and to diversify the already established tandem of working in the office and at home. "Coworking centers have a specific atmosphere. There is also a playful design and rooms equipped with the most modern audiovisual and communication technology. In addition, they organize various social and educational events, joint breakfasts, exercises and the like for their members," concludes Helena Hemrová.