Flexible workspaces are likely to play a crucial role in companies’ real estate diversification strategies post-Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report recently released by diversified professional services and investment management company Colliers.
Colliers data as of the end of Q3 2022 shows Metro Manila’s flexible workspace stock reaching 220,200 square meters, which represents about 2% of the total leasable office space in the capital region.
“The availability of high-quality office towers, complemented by attractive lease rates, should make these sites viable for flexible workspace operators,” said Joey Roi Bondoc, Director of Research of Colliers. He added that Metro Manila’s flexible workspace stock is likely to grow by about 10% in the next 12 months.
Take-up for flexible workspaces is projected to be driven by traditional occupiers engaged in construction, architecture, logistics, financial technology (fintech), and start-up companies.
“But regardless of industry, flexible workspaces are a feasible alternative for companies seeking short-term leases and looking to right-size operations,” said Bondoc. “Outsourcing firms with immediate office space requirements should also consider plug-and-play or fitted offices. Flexible workspaces are popular among companies weighing office space expansion plans in the near term.”
According to Patricia Cruz, Associate Director of Office Services – Tenant Representation: “As hybrid work gains traction at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, flexible work has become the focus of multinational companies. Occupiers should revisit their short- and long-term growth projections to properly assess their real estate needs and take advantage of the flexible work solutions as an interim alternative.”
Revisiting continuity plans
Office occupiers are also advised to revisit their business continuity plans (BCP) and consider integrating flexible workspaces into their hybrid work arrangements.
Colliers also urges office landlords to either explore partnerships with flexible workspace operators or launch their own brands. Landlords in key metropolitan areas, such as Clark, Cebu, Davao, and Iloilo, should also capture flexible workspace take-up.
Flexible workspace operators may also consider occupying space in transit-oriented retail projects and partner with in-mall retailers to add value to their services and lure more consumers to take-up flexible workspaces.