Coworking was a response but is now a key driver of the property market

As the BCO Annual Conference in Copenhagen approaches with the theme ‘arbejdsglaede’ or ‘happiness at work’, Bruceshaw considers what is driving the coworking phenomena in its latest Bruceshaw Voice.

Having disrupted the property sector over the last decade, coworking continues to impact investors, developers and end users as the concept appears to be the dominant force in the commercial sector.

Coworking can trace its roots back as far as the 1980s when Regus (now known as IWG) popularised the idea of a ‘serviced office’, by taking on leases of office buildings, subdividing the available space and leasing it out to small business, fully furnished and ready to rent.

Fast forward to the early 2000s and there are many new players large and small, such as WeWork, Total Office Group and Fora to name a few.

The coworking trend is not purely influencing through its financial package (low risk and low commitment), but also through the focus on user wellbeing as well as its workplace environment style and design.

Coworking: hot topics include:

  • Would a recession be a risk or opportunity to coworking providers – will we see more consolidation, or will some larger providers simply collapse?
  • Recently, there has been some reported concerns around the financial strength of a renowned coworking brand. Could this have an effect on the wider sector?
  • What are the preferred financial models for the continued success of coworking providers – joint ventures; part ownership by property firms; more own-brand models from developers?
  • What influences coworking tenants to look for – greater flexibility and more expensive short term rent rather than taking traditional office space?
  • Will coworking providers collaborate to provide greater flexibility to agile tenants?

This edition of the Bruceshaw Voice was created in conversation with Freelance Journalist Helen Parton, Senior Associates Daniel Wright and David Nash, and Associates Anna Bohuszewicz and Ben Williams.

Read ‘coworking was a response but is now a key driver of the property market’ here