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Flexible workspaces - a key corporate trend

Image: Spaces
Image: Spaces

As the move towards flexible workspace, both within employers’ own properties and by using shared spaces, gathers even more pace, JLL has revealed the Top 10 Global Corporate Real Estate (CRE) Trends for 2018. This annual analysis identifies the key factors influencing corporate occupiers’ decision making.

The study reveals that the rise in demand for flexible workspaces, the emergence of a more dynamic workforce, and an increasing focus on employee performance and wellbeing will dominate global CRE strategies in 2018. The adoption of smart real estate technologies and digitisation of buildings will also continue to transform the industry and shape the future of work.

Pierre-Paul Verelst, Head of research, Belux, JLL, comments: “Real estate is an engine for innovation and growth. As the workforce becomes more flexible and dynamic, organisations are building more agile environments to embrace this transformation. We expect more businesses to ‘humanise’ their workplace through digitisation and smart technologies, using employee satisfaction, performance and wellbeing as the new way to measure success.”

Bernard Keppenne, Head of Corporate Solutions, Belgium, JLL, adds: “On the Belgian market the rise of flexible workplace is undisputable with a global take-up of 35,000 m² representing 8 % of the total take-up in 2017. We expect this percentage to increase further in 2018 as we see the interest of some major Corporate occupiers to transform part of their office areas into co-working space. Digitisation is in early stage of implementation as far as buildings are concerned, but developers are clearly thinking about various ways of incorporating digital technologies in their future projects.”

Additional key trends identified in this report, and which are within the same context, include the rise of a work environment that supports creativity, cross-collaboration and innovation, integrated technology-driven ecosystems transforming companies and driving new levels of performance, and agility and collaboration becoming critical keys to business success in a rapidly changing market environment.

This all appears to be confirmed by the latest announcement from one of the newer players in the ‘co-working’ landscape. Spaces, which recently opened its first Belgian centre at Pegasus park alongside the airport, is scheduling the opening of 20 more centres in Belgium over the next three years. Four of these will see the light in the coming months, at Mechelen, Brussels (2) and Antwerp. These four will increase the amount of space occupied by the operator in Belgium from 3,500 m² to 20000 m².

Tim Harrup

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