While the majority of their real estate portfolio is still made up of longer-term fixed leases, growing numbers of companies are experimenting with flexible office space to get the most from their employees and best position themselves in a fast-paced, rapidly-evolving business world. “Flexible office space helps them to attract specific talent pools, particularly younger generations, who tend to favour a less traditional corporate office setting while meeting the requirements of specific teams in areas such as digital or product innovation,” says Tom Carroll, Head of EMEA Corporate Research at JLL. “For some companies, flexible office space enables them to act quickly if they need a temporary space, or to access a new market. For others, it’s an opportunity to increase exposure to the zeitgeist in a particular industry or to help change their working culture.” Back in 2015, JLL predicted up to 30 percent of corporate portfolios could be co-working or flexible space by 2030 – a figure supported by its latest report Flexible Space: Transforming real estate. With Europe’s flex space market growing rapidly – up by as much as 35 percent a year over the last three years, and with further growth on the cards – companies have never had more choice in finding additional space that meets their unique needs. “If flex space or coworking providers can demonstrate sustained evidence of improvements in how companies are getting more from the spaces they lease, and this can be scaled, we will see an acceleration in enterprise adoption.” Although more companies are considering or trialling flex space, it’s far from being a one-size-fits-all solution and won’t be the right move for every company, especially those who are very conservative in their real estate operations and outlook. Even companies who are more experimental will differ significantly in the way they take-up flexible space.
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