Published by Wybo Wijnbergen on Jan 30, 2023
2022 will forever be remembered as the year we reconnected, both on a personal and professional level, as we saw the Big Return to the office. But it was never going to be a return to the old ways of working.
Amid pandemic lockdowns, millions of people across the world had to work from home. While this separated us from colleagues and reduced the ability to collaborate with one another, it also unlocked many benefits: people reclaimed time formerly lost to their commute, saved money on fuel and public transport, and found flexibility an irresistible offer.
It’s, therefore, no surprise then that so many now find the optimal solution to be one which combines the best of home and office working. Indeed, 2022 has been the year of flexible and hybrid working. In fact, across all forms of workspace, it is flexible ones that are experiencing the highest occupancy rates compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to the Instant Group’s annual The Future of Flex Report, 44% of all operators have globally achieved occupancy rates above 80%.
But amid such demand, it’s time to ask, what’s next for the flexible workspace sector in 2023?
1. Sustainability or bust
With the impacts of global warming fast approaching a point of no return, the climate emergency has become the great battle of our lifetimes. The need to decarbonise almost every aspect of our lives has thus become greater than ever. As prime emitters of carbon both during construction and ongoing operation, offices and buildings in general have a particularly great debt to settle.
But for many landlords, the prospect of transforming workspaces into sustainable beacons of the future is daunting. It requires true expertise and know-how; partnering with a flexible workspace operator like infinitSpace allows landlords to make the sustainability jump with eyes wide open.
We help landlords to develop an environmental policy that is reflective of their brand and budget, kitting out their workspaces with sustainability-conscious technology which not only helps the planet but drives down overheads. Moreover, with governmental regulations on environmental standards everchanging, we’ll ensure that workspaces are made to last, and help landlords to meet obligations.
But perhaps more importantly, with sustainability so high on the public agenda in 2023, having a strong environmental policy with the technology to back it up is a great way to attract new tenants.
2. Fostering community
Naturally, the separation from our colleagues enforced by the pandemic sparked a wave of loneliness in our professional lives. As we continue to move forward from the pandemic as a society in 2023, centring community and human connection has emerged as a top priority for our working lives.
For many businesses and entrepreneurs, it is evident that flexible workspaces are uniquely positioned to offer this emphasis on community. Specifically, they enable the freedoms and flexibility of working from home while providing an inviting space wherein workers are not only able to strengthen connections with their team but with the wider business community.
Flexibility means flexible terms for businesses as well as individuals. That means that businesses have the freedom to expand their office space as their team grows and market conditions change. In 2023, scalability is set to become a huge USP for flexible workspaces seeking to attract new members in a more mature market.
4. Corporations embracing flex
SMBs, individuals and enterprises have all been enjoying the benefits of flexible workspaces for some time, but now larger corporations are also looking to take advantage of the flex boom. The floorspace such large companies require is further boosting the demand for flexible workspaces. In 2023, we can expect large corporations to be a key growing demographic as they make the switch to flex space.
5. Smart Offices
At infinitSpace, technology is at the heart of everything we do – our flexible workspaces are kitted out with the latest in digital workspace tech, allowing users to do anything from access online booking platforms, connect with a network of professionals and gain access to exclusive spaces.
But our overarching ambitions for technology in the sector are greater still. Technology must support the human endeavour around it, which means it must be able to adapt to the needs of its users– enter smart buildings.
IoT technologies connect the appliances and rooms of a building to measure occupancy, meaning that workspace providers can identify spaces in low and high demand, subsequently converting the former into the latter, creating workspaces that are designed with intentionality and moulded by their existing users. In 2023, we expect occupancy data to transform flexible workspaces and make them even more efficient.
In effect, 2023 will be the year that flexible workspaces become an even more attractive prospect to businesses, investors and individuals alike. This year, infinitSpace is committed to being the flexspace partner for landlords that most embraces the innovation and development needed to enable entire office buildings to flourish.