The office has continually been evolving and this is well documented. Traditional serviced offices still meet some end user’s requirements, particularly at the premium end of the market. However, the sector is now moving towards a holistic offering, catering for the demands of the millennial and today’s dynamic business environment.
WeWork has already launched co-living in the US, a model that will soon be exported to APAC. naked Hub, from Shanghai, are already rolling out their co-life concept across all their markets, bringing together flexible workspace, food & beverage, and wellness.
We believe that co-living will be extremely popular in APAC. However, we also predict challenges to co-living being able to co-exist in the same building as flexible workspace due to buildings in some major APAC cities having user restrictions.
Notwithstanding the above, we expect co-living to be a big trend in Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and Singapore first, before spreading to other markets. It will be difficult to achieve in Hong Kong due to the narrow footprints of most residential buildings.
We may see larger occupiers bringing flexible workspace in-house, similar to Verizon who recently partnered with operator Grind to transform 10,000 sq. ft. of underutilised space in its Manhattan headquarters into a flexible workspace for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The technology firm wants to facilitate a new wave of growth in its sector by offering business incubator space and collaboration with its occupiers. The key element preventing this being a widespread trend in APAC is that multinational corporations rarely hold surplus space within their operational portfolios.
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