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Anna Jorge
2024-01-04

What a year, right? In the midst of new planning, recaps, and evaluations, we wonder about the balance of flexible spaces and the flexible sector. Already in January 2023, the year showed promise, and as the hybrid work model solidified after the pandemic, along with the prevalence of remote work, the exodus to flexible offices was already quite noticeable.

Living through the coworking journey and its transformation into the preferred workspace for corporate clients, we celebrate with all of you this first meeting of the year to thoroughly analyze the evolution and most flexible trends. Let’s get started!

 

Where are flexible offices as of the end of 2023?

CORPORATE DEMAND FOR FLEXIBLE SPACES CONTINUES TO GROW

Although flexible offices have been a trend among corporate profiles for years, 2023 has undoubtedly been the icing on the cake. At Lexington, we closed the year with an 18% growth in square meters of flexible offices and achieved a contract renewal rate by our clients, mostly large corporations, exceeding 84%. We’ve landed again in Barcelona with the opening of Lexington L’illa, while in the capital, we expanded the 5th floor of our flexible space in Castellana 79. Not bad, right?

The coworking model for companies continues to offer countless advantages for both companies and employees. Starting with flexibility in contractual conditions, working hours, space design, and growth, it extends to a very flexible savings aspect, covering a multitude of expenses.

Offering work environments entirely designed to find the perfect balance between privacy and collaboration gives managers a proposal that enhances the well-being of their teams to achieve maximum talent acquisition and retention. The diversity of formats, with all kinds of amenities and customization options, is helping user companies in their struggle to make sense of the office and bring their teams back to work.

FLEXIBLE OFFICES IN 2023: A LONG-TERM SOLUTION

The nature of coworking has always been somewhat nomadic: flexibility provided the best conditions for a specific adaptation period, landing in a new market or country, or simply covering a period when the conventional office was not available, but with an expiration date in many cases. Although not as ingrained as in 1981 (when the concept of shared workspaces arrived in Spain from the United States), the sense of ownership has always been (and continues to be) very present in our country.

However, 2023 has also marked the beginning of the end in this regard. The past year leaves us with a figure of 600 companies trusting Lexington, with corporate clients extending their contracts for 6, 12, and 24 more months, with no intention of leaving Lexington’s flexible workspaces. Cost savings, opportunities provided by flexible spaces in terms of talent attraction or synergies with other companies, and strengthening brand image in strategic directions of the city, among others, are the main reasons behind these decisions. The doors that open for companies of all sizes by locating their headquarters in the heart of the financial center of Madrid or Barcelona are not taken lightly, and any change to less is not even considered.

CORPORATE FLEXIBLE OFFICES, RATHER THAN SIMPLE

Another major factor characterizing this sector’s growth to meet the demands of corporate clients is the customization of space, the customization of work environments, and the variety of atmospheres created, with teams always able to find what they need at the exact moment.

Flexible offices no longer leave anyone indifferent! From shared workstations to spaces 100% customized according to the brand image of each company, with common resources and the possibility to build the same (such as meeting rooms, phone booths, or even reception) within corporate suites or entire floors dedicated entirely.

The office experience has completely changed, and the goals of workplace strategies have also transformed. The space for work no longer ends when the office chair turns, and having modules that promote collaborative work, interpersonal relationships within the work circle, and brainstorming is now essential. People become the protagonists of these approaches, focusing on their comfort, productivity, and sense of belonging.

 

What are the trends in flexible offices that will shape 2024?

The trend in flexible offices in 2024 is clear, and even at the peaks of the flexible sector, such as the Coworking Summit of Proworkspaces held in early October, the focus is on more flexible, collaborative, and sustainable offices.

Coworking as a workspace model for freelancers and small businesses is stable, and its followers already see it as the ultimate solution. However, it is large corporations, big teams, and the demands for technology and sustainability that will elevate this sector from now on. Technological advancements, environmentally friendly policies, and design will be the factors that unlock the full potential of flexible workspaces.

According to Lexington’s CEO, David Vega, “Flexible offices will strengthen everything related to security and access to space and resources. We will increasingly integrate features that allow users to interact with the space and its functionalities through a few clicks, fingerprint, or with the smartphone as an ally. Not to mention the weight of online communities for member interaction or telepresence systems to enable the coexistence of in-person and remote worlds without any problems. Design, on the other hand, tends towards versatility, formats for different uses, and corners designed for many types of needs, activities, and generations of workers. In this sense, Generation Z or Centennials are making a strong impact and have high expectations regarding the work culture they want to be a part of.

Finally, sustainability is undoubtedly a key trend in the realm of flexible spaces. Increasingly relevant considerations that operators must continue to address and expand to attract companies committed to environmental responsibility.”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE FLEXIBLE SECTOR DURING 2024?

Experts predict growth for flexible spaces in 2024.

According to CBRE data, the ‘flex stock’ is growing, and occupancy levels are steadily increasing. In this context, the report promoted by Savills reflects that Madrid continues to stand out as the fourth city with the highest concentration of flexible offices in Europe, and its forecasts indicate stable demand and increased occupancy in 2024.

Work routines will also solidify: teams still balancing between in-person and remote work will establish the hybrid model more solidly, and time and spatial flexibility will continue to develop. Working in third spaces will gain popularity among remote teams. These data reinforce our commitment to continue offering flexible and effective solutions to companies and their teams, as well as to contribute to the continuous development of this sector that reduces investment uncertainty and increases talent acquisition and retention.

Adaptability and innovation will remain our pillars as we move towards a future full of limitless opportunities and possibilities. 💫 The balance, as it couldn’t be otherwise, is very positive, as flexible workspaces and coworking have found their match in large corporations, representing one of the greatest opportunities for progress in recent years. And we project an even better future!

“Work on your strengths, not just your weaknesses. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have been about fixing some flaw?” Jonathan Haidt.

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