The business model is untested, they cried. You need to see how it performs in a recession, they said. The flexible office space had not seen a downturn before. Well boy, it has now. And so far, it has performed better than a lot of people expected.
It is early days, of course, and this crisis still has some (maybe even years of) distance left to run. But data drawn together by Bisnow shows the flexible office business model has had resilience in the face of a perfect storm of problems, and that demand is starting to return.
There are some big hurdles to overcome; principally, how a sector that boasted of how it allowed people to interact convinces people it is safe in a world where interaction is forbidden. Some operators will not make it through the crisis, and others will be forced to shrink. But with the way people use offices going through the most radical overhaul since the concept was invented, flexible office have the chance to capture any growth opportunities that emerge in the new world.
“It has been like driving a car into a brick wall: You can’t expect it to come out unscathed,” Labs Chief Commercial Officer Matt Watts said of a year when governments across the world told workers not to go into the office, leaving pretty much the entire flexible office sector…
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