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Flex Forward | What’s next for Flex in 2021?

2020 could potentially be the catalyst for a structural change in real estate. Over 2021 we will begin to see the true impact of the pandemic and start to make sense of what it’s long lasting impact will be. There are signs of optimism for the flexible workspace sector, underpinned by occupiers looking to reduce risk, add agility, elevate employee experience and outsource workspace delivery. Illustrated by Deloitte’s recent acquisition of 35,000 sq ft of flex space from WeWork in the UK and Standard Chartered partnering with IWG to offer their global workforce access to on demand workspace.

We have also seen traction with asset owners meaningfully exploring the benefits that partnering with flexible workspace operators can bring to an asset, such as attracting smaller high-quality requirements, improving tenant amenities and offering conventional tenants’ additional flexible workspace. For example, Barings have just announced that they have partnered with Hana in their flagship Manchester development, which is also a positive signal for secondary markets.

Here at Colliers we expect the sector to recover strongly and we are preparing for a busy year as asset owners, operators and occupiers all continue to evolve and embrace the shift in how workspace is delivered and consumed.