Growing Flex Space Firm The Instant Group Hires PwC Global Real Estate Head
PwC’s former global real estate leader has signed on as CEO of partnerships for The Instant Group, a growing global flexible space platform seeking to rapidly expand its offerings as hybrid work and a broader slump supercharge the flex office industry.
Craig Hughes, who has run the Big Four accounting firm's global real estate division since 2016, will focus on growing UK-based Instant's relationships with landlords.
“There will always be a place for the HQ and central office, but tenants want that portfolio of types of spaces, HQs, flex, virtual offices for people at home,” Hughes told Bisnow. “Landlords have discovered from their customers what’s needed and they want to provide it.”
The role is critical to Instant’s plan to bring more supply to the market. Hughes, who spent his last 18 months at PwC focused on hybrid transformations, can leverage corporate contacts, real estate owners and landlords seeking to transition assets to tap into a more hybrid style of work. He casts a wide net, viewing hotels with business centers, airline lounges, government real estate portfolios, retail with spare capacity, and traditional office space, as potential providers.
“Corporations will have a core office requirement alongside a flexible requirement to match the needs of the business,” Hughes said. “It’s really a portfolio approach, from sitting at the kitchen table to HQ.”
The firm has big expansion plans. After a raft of recent acquisitions, including Easyoffices.com, Meetingo.com, Rovva and Worka, the meeting room and virtual office specialist DaVinci, and Coworker.com, the leading aggregator for coworking, Instant claims its the largest marketplace for flex space globally.
Instant Group serves more than 250,000 businesses in 175 countries via more than 30,000 workspaces, and plans to undergo an IPO by the end of 2023. It is seeking to continue scaling up to meet a predicted doubling of worldwide flex space demand by 2025.