Office Research & Statistics

The July Global Flexible Office Sentiment Survey: On the Road to Recovery

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06/08/2020

In April, we launched the ‘Workthere Global Flexible Office Sentiment Survey’ in order to help better understand how COVID-19 is impacting flexible offices around the world. We also ran the survey in May and are now able to see a trajectory of data points.

Overall, we have seen that flexible office providers across the globe are significantly more positive about the prospects for the sector compared to April with 41% optimistic about the prospects for the next three months, compared to only 25% in April. Long-term sentiment has also improved, with 79% of flexible offices stating they are optimistic about the prospects for the sector over the next 12 months, compared to only 64% in April.

Sentiment is improving, and with good reason. Globally, enquiries have recovered to 44% of normal levels, up from 20% of normal levels in April and 28% in May. Enquiry recovery is strongest in Europe. The portion of members not renewing their contracts is highest in the US at 28%, compared to 14% in Europe.

Occupancy pre-COVID 19 was 81% globally and providers expect occupancy to be at 64% at the end of August. People are starting to return to offices, with a flexible office building occupancy rate of 41% in Europe and 26% in the US.

Encouragingly, fewer members are now asking for rent relief, with 27% requesting support globally in July compared to 31% in May. The most common forms of rent relief being offered are:  one month with a 20-50% discount; one month with a 5-20% discount and two months with a 5-20% discount.

Most enquiries for flexible offices are currently coming from companies wanting to downsize from a lease, followed by suburban office space as workers aim to work closer to home. The next most prominent source of enquiries is due to extra space needed to accommodate for social distancing.

It is still a challenging time for flexible offices, but there are promising signs of recovery, in terms of increasing enquiries, fewer companies asking for rent relief, higher building occupancy and improving sentiment.

Methodology

  • Our analysis is based on 20 flexible offices around the world, located across France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, The United States and Vietnam.
  • The data was collected via an online survey that we sent by email to flexible office providers.
  • Data was collected during the period of 13th July 2020 until 20th July 2020. 
  • A ‘member’ is defined as one membership agreement. This could be for one person or one membership agreement for 150 people.

View our UK fact sheet of results here