Pay-as-you-go workspace; the evolving flexible office product offerings in 2020



The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for corporate office portfolio managers across the globe. Whilst navigating the varying stages of the pandemic, businesses of all sizes are increasingly seeking interim office and meeting space solutions to accommodate the varying needs of their employees. Whilst flexibility is not a new trend, now more than ever the need for agility has been accelerated by the pandemic and immediate economic uncertainty. Flexible office providers have adapted rapidly to the changing needs of businesses in developing new product offerings and solutions to offer even more flexibility to business.

Flexible office providers including WeWork,, Fora and Uncommon, to name a few, are introducing pay-per-use plans in varying formats, which enables occupiers to only pay for what they use. Occupiers can obtain passes on an hourly or daily basis for coworking space, private offices or meeting rooms to provide maximum agility for occupiers. This increased flexibility enables businesses to better accommodate the varying comfort levels of employees in returning to an office, with those in need of access to an office environment. These new plans essentially enable businesses to purchase access to flexible office space as a product of time, rather than simply on a per desk per square foot basis. It is likely that these contract vehicles will remain in place and even increase in popularity in the short and medium term as the uncertainty continues.

Another option for businesses that can serve as an interim solution over the coming months and acts as a middle ground between pay-as-you-go plans and longer-term commitments for office space, is global membership subscriptions. These vary from provider to provider, but are generally offered either on a limit usage basis, by number of days per week per person, or on an unlimited basis for those looking for added flexibility. Often these global memberships offer access to the coworking area and other communal facilities such as kitchens, and in some cases meeting rooms. 

A more recent trend that is emerging is third-party aggregators that allow you to book flexible office space via a credit-based system at multiple locations and through different providers. This can be beneficial for businesses looking for flexibility that supports their team in need of space in different locations, which can be booked individually or as a team. This can be useful for businesses to use to trial different workspaces before choosing a single location for their team once in a position to do so.

If you’re in need of help with your real estate strategy, or want to find out more about these new product offerings get in touch with one of our expert advisors who can help to guide you to find the right space for your business needs .

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