At the beginning of the pandemic, it seemed that many coworking centres or serviced offices would not survive, but with the retreat of the pandemic measures, most coworking office operators have already felt growing interest, and 2022 has confirmed this trend. This year the supply of flexible offices is forecasted to grow in the Czech market, as Property Forum reports based on data provided by JLL.
According to major operators in the flexible office market segment, the last few months have shown stabilization and gradual growth. As newcomers, even larger corporations – with more than 500 employees – are entering the flexible office market by leasing coworking spaces. This trend shows a greater diversification of operators. For example, IWG representing Spaces and WeWork, confirm that large, often multinational corporations currently account for 60 – 75% of their total leases. On the other hand, operators like Impact Hub or WorkLounge continue to base their business on smaller and medium-sized companies, often freelancers.
New clients, new requirements
All the major operators agree that their clients have come up with new requirements in the wake of the lockdown and pandemic measures. Demand for closed offices has risen steeply and renting single-occupancy offices is a brand-new trend. There is also further demand for technological innovation to secure more flexibility in terms of operations and the rental relationship between operator and client. Facility operators are investing in even more convenient booking systems, video conferencing facilities and other self-service processes.
“Customers currently demand the minimum space, the shortest possible lease, and the lowest commitment. Shorter relocation times for flexible centres, and therefore shorter decision times, also play a big role in the selection of new offices. In this respect, flexible space still has a big advantage over the traditional form of the office lease,”- Silvie Dudychová, Flexible office consultant at JLL told Property Forum.
Expansion reaches beyond Prague and Brno
Most of the flexible centres are in Prague, the 76 locations totalling an area of 103,300 sqm. The second most important flexible office hub is Brno with 12 centres and a total area of 11,500 sqm. Among the larger cities offering flexible spaces is Pilsen with 6 centres and a total area of 1,900 sqm.
Developers like CTP and Passerinvest are opening new locations and intend to further expand their flex concept. And while HB Reavis announced the closure of its two Prague HubHub flexible centres and will cease operations in the Czech Republic at the end of May 2023, other operators plan to expand or open flexible centres in 2023. The Scott.Weber Workspace company will open two centres this year – in The Park building in Prague (2,500 sqm) and in the newly completed Port7 building also in Prague (4,400 sqm). By transforming a Pilsen brownfield into a technology park, TechTower opened another flexible space of 2,500 sqm in February 2023.