Despite COVID-19, the majority of Flexible Workspaces providers continue to look positively into the future - this is the result of the second part of the Workthere survey, which has been reflecting the mood of the industry since April 2020. To this end, Savills' own Flexible Office Placement Platform again surveyed global flexible office space operators from twelve countries. While in April only 25% of those surveyed considered the next three months to be promising, this figure has now risen to around 42%. The statements for the next twelve months are even more optimistic: The approval rate among the respondents rose from 63% to a total of 74%. This mood is particularly apparent in Germany, where as much as 86% of those surveyed expect a positive development.
And these assessments are no coincidence: Compared to last month, demand for flexible office space increased by 40% worldwide. In Europe the increase was a strong 77%, in Asia as much as 17%. Only North America is the only region to record a 19% decline compared to the previous month.
"With our regular surveys, we want to do justice to the highly dynamic developments. The first two surveys alone show how much can happen within a few weeks and that the perception of the market is much more positive than in the last survey. Currently we expect the segment to gradually recover and to become even more attractive in the post-pandemic period"
says Stephan Schörnig, Workthere Manager Germany at Savills.
With regard to the occupancy figures, however, the evaluations initially produce a more negative forecast. Participants in the Workthere survey expect occupancy rates to be 69% at the end of June - a decline of 14% compared to the level before COVID-19.
According to the survey results, around 31 % of global users are also taking advantage of any rent relief. In Asia and North America, the figures are slightly above average at 38 % and 33 % respectively, while in Europe as a whole 28 % are taking advantage of these options.
"The results so far show a positive change in sentiment that is taking effect in both the short and long term and is not just affecting Europe and the UK. This makes us optimistic about the future overall.
In addition to the general increase in demand, we are also seeing an increasing interest in flexible workspaces in peripheral locations and suburbs. In fact, 37% of the participants are the most frequently requested ones. This is partly due to the fact that the more decentralized offers are usually closer to the place of residence. Flexible spaces outside the centre offer the necessary peace and quiet as well as the infrastructure of a conventional office and, on top of that, save employees from commuting. We assume that this development will increase in the future. Other popular concepts include so-called swing spaces and general alternative areas to provide the necessary hygiene and safety guidelines in terms of social distance." - Cal Lee, Global Head of Workthere
In total, around 90 providers from 12 different countries took part in the Workthere survey.