Flexible working spaces are set to grow by up to 30% annually for the next five years across Europe, according to property firm Jones Lang Lasalle. Firms like WeWork and IWG offer office space and services, allowing clients to shrink or grow their number of desks, or the period they need them for. Founded in the US in 2010, WeWork is already London and New York’s largest private office occupier. Some property investors have pointed out that when any company buys up a huge amount of the stock of office space in the hope of selling it on in bits and pieces, there is a risk you can be left with a lot of empty offices if the economy takes a turn for the worse. The flexibility of this new model is proving popular with small employers and workers who enjoy the modern collaborative feel of a shared office, as well as larger employers who are not forced to sign long leases on expensive, bespoke, trophy buildings. Perks such as free beer for tenants of WeWork offices in New York proved so popular that the company was forced to impose a four pint limit per person after reports of inappropriate behaviour. Four pints is still enough to create a feel good mood about one of the biggest disruptions for decades in the way we think about heading to “The office”.
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