The demand for flexible workspace – including coworking and hybrid centers – isn’t cooling. The opposite is happening, as more entrepreneurs, start-ups and even large companies are renting desks, offices and conference centers in these flexible workspaces.
How strong is the demand for these spaces? the Instant Group, a provider of flexible workspaces, recently released its latest global flex market report studying the 18 cities across the globe, including Chicago, that had the greatest supply of flexible workspaces. The study found that the demand from clients for flexible workspaces and the supply of these spaces both increased an average of 19 percent last year.
And while Chicago might not have the greatest number of flex workspaces, demand in this Midwest city was high. The Instant Group reported that Chicago joined Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles and Vancouver as those cities in which the demand for flexible workspace was nearly double the global average.
The Instant Group said that Chicago had 157 flexible work centers last year, an increase of 16 percent from the year before. As the supply of flexible workspace centers increases, though, the cost to rent a desk in these spaces is falling. The Instant Group reported that it cost an average of $707 a month to rent a desk in a flexible workspace in Chicago last year. That was a dip of 17 percent from a year earlier.
The most expensive flexible spaces in the world? You can find those in New York City, where it cost an average of $1,063 a month to rent a desk in 2018. Even that figure, though, was down 4 percent from a year earlier.
While demand for flexible office space is rising, coworking centers are still far from the norm. The Instant Group said that in the 18 cities it studied, flexible space represents just 5 percent of their overall office space.
This might change, though, and dramatically so. The Instant Group predicts that flexible space could take up from 30 percent to 40 percent of total office space in the next decade. That might be because larger companies are now considering coworking spaces. According to the report, larger orders for 10 or more desks now make up around 20 percent of the total market demand for flexible spaces.