Coworking spaces and flexible workspaces mean more than just a desk and a chair to some people. When it comes to innovation, design, location, and environment, coworking spaces must do more than catch the eye, they need to capture the soul too.
Chatting to John Williams, Chief Marketing Officer of The Instant Group, we gathered some insightful intel on the ins and outs of the relationship that exists between commercial real estate and coworking. The Instant Group has been operating in the commercial real estate industry for over 20 years, mainly selling and designing coworking spaces and flexible workspaces globally.
When COVID struck and fostered certain lifestyle shifts, The Instant Group was no exception. John stated that one of the very notable changes he witnessed was how everyone related to coworking spaces before and after the pandemic hit. With the many challenges brought on by this sudden shift in the style and location of workspaces, John saw this as a massive opportunity for the coworking market.
Another striking improvement that John noticed as a result of COVID was the change in design and layout of office spaces. Traditional offices embarked on a journey to transition smoothly into newer designs and structures. Buying decisions of new office space owners were also greatly influenced by the needs of employees and clients. John and his team noticed that more buyers were gravitating towards areas and environments closer to residential places, schools, and centres that professionals could easily access with little to no hassles.
Because client satisfaction is at the heart of everything, the user-centric approach that office space owners have developed or enhanced is, according to John, the winning formula for all working space owners going forward. More and more of The Instant Group’s clients are concerned about the experience that they can provide for their clients as a top priority instead of how much money they can make, and this is evidence that the winds of change have already arrived.
As part of the change in motion, larger companies have now taken a huge interest in buying and actually using flexible workspaces. This of course, will serve as a huge advantage for small coworking space providers to have ‘big’ clients coming in.
Introducing and implementing change is a process and we need to acknowledge that it will not happen overnight. It is worth noting however, that some employers have invested a lot into the transformation process of becoming more employee focused and user-centric, however there is still a great deal that needs to be adjusted in terms of inclusion and freedom of choice. People need to be able to work in a space that is conducive for their growth, learning and mobility in order for them to function at their very best.