In recent years, flex office space in Europe has undergone a remarkable transformation. Flexibility, convenience and short-term leases have been the fundamentals of this market but we’re now seeing more and more operators providing employees with standards similar to a five-star hotel. So, how has the European flex market managed to cater to employees and occupier desires and deliver the ultimate workplace experience?
In France, Gustave Collection, The Bureau, Kwerk, and HOFF in the Netherlands have taken the ‘hotelification’ approach by infusing the standards of five-star hotels into flexible office spaces. For instance, The Bureau, 42 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris 75002, has been likened to a cosy "boutique hotel,” offering amenities like a members’ club, enabling occupiers to work smarter and in comfort. Kwerk, 18 Rue de Courcelles, 75008 Paris, draws inspiration from hospitality and boasts a stunning five-star fit-out with an impressive rooftop terrace.
Gustave Collection, 21 Rue de la Paix, Paris 75008, one of the pioneers in offering best-in-class flexible office space in France, proudly claims, "What if the real luxury was to go to the office?" HOFF, Strawinskylaan 257, 1077 XX Amsterdam, is a fusion of hotel and offices, ensuring all needs are catered to, with their slogan "Hoffcourse" - where they say yes to almost everything. They offer complimentary snacks and fruits, a fireplace corner, a library, and a concierge service.
EDGE Stadium, Fred. Roeskestraat 100, 1076 ED Amsterdam, unlike conventional buildings, prioritises visitors' experiences. With lush greenery, specially designed area, sustainable materials, and meditation spaces, this building sets the stage for employees to work under the best possible conditions.
Brain Embassy, located at Czackiego 15/17, Polska, 00-043, is a fully renovated building adapted to include 3,900 sq m of flexible office space. The building's history as a theatre adds a touch of uniqueness, with features like a small theatre for performances, a fully equipped kitchen, and a lounge with a piano, making it another stellar example of best-in-class space.
The Collection, Chapter 9. Weteringschans 85, 1017 RZ, Amsterdam, stands out with its exceptional services, including an on-site boat, free usage of e-bikes, and a penthouse suite. Their mobile phone app allows occupiers to access available amenities at different branches.
Flex spaces are also beginning to combine meeting rooms with fine dining experiences adding that extra layer of opulence. Gustave Collection offers exclusive access to catering from renowned restaurant Tallievent. Kwerk boasts an on-site restaurant and a private dining room, collaborating with the famous French-Brazilian chef, Alessandra Montagne-Gomes. At each of its four locations, The Bureau features at least one food area (two restaurants and two coffee shops) which is accessible to members.
Kwerk, EDGE Stadium, The Collection, and The Office Group (TOG)’s Chancery House, London, WC2A 1QS prioritise wellbeing, offering impressive fitness amenities. Amongst others, the latter features a 4,000 sq ft fully equipped gym with private member workout areas, a yoga studio and a wellness room while the EDGE Stadium has a ‘walkable’ meeting room, redefining the concept of brainstorming sessions.
For relaxation, Chancery House and HOFF provide private saunas, while Gustave Collection offers both a sauna and Hammam experience.
Venture capital investors, hedge funds, investment companies, bankers, lawyers, luxury brands, and consulting firms are driving the demand for these best-in-class spaces. These companies seek the best experience for their employees and impressive facilities to showcase their success to clients. In the case of LABS House, 15-19 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2BA, that includes a popular communal and event space on the seventh floor of this impressive building with double-height windows and views east over London.
Flexible office space has typically been associated with a first-class customer service with many offering a concierge as well as an amenity driven provision. However, with the increase in popularity of hybrid working, providers have upped the ante in terms of attracting occupiers and, in turn, staff to their spaces.
In Poland, the average cost of a ‘best in class’ flex desk is €350 per month. In France, the range varies from €1,000-€2,300 per month, in London between £700-£1,500 per month and in the Netherlands, it's between €500-€1,200 per month. To put this into context, the average cost of a private desk within flexible office space in London during H1 2023 stood at £699, ca.€800 in Paris and €500 in Amsterdam.
We are seeing a flight to quality where companies worldwide are increasingly seeking the very best space, and more and more are looking for five-star solutions with top-level services. The demand for premium offerings is rising among high-end companies and is a powerful tool to attract and retain talent and impress clients.
Operators are striving to meet these expectations. As this trend continues to gain momentum, it is likely to spread to other markets worldwide. So, whether you're seeking a rooftop terrace with breath-taking views, a high-end restaurant within arm's reach, or a rejuvenating sauna session after a productive day, the European flex market has something extraordinary to offer.