Co-working is now considered a long-term option for businesses, instead of a temporary solution, according to latest research by Regus. Sharing an office space used to be seen as little more than a short-term answer for start-ups on a budget or entrepreneurs seeking company.
However, of the almost 40,000 Regus survey respondents, nearly two-thirds (67%) said they are seeing more firms integrate co-working into their long-term strategy.
Incorporating co-working into their long-term plan is not only seen as a cost effective alternative, but helps businesses remain agile and responsive to sudden market changes that are rife in the volatile global economy. Business people report that firms are renewing existing co-working arrangements or making new contracts because they offer scalability, shorter terms than fixed leases and help grow the business sustainably.
Almost half of respondents report that use of co-working space at least some of the time is mainstream among larger businesses signalling an important change in mentality. SMEs continue to be keen users of co-working space (72%).
Offers opportunity to scale
Global business people report that firms are renewing co-working agreements because they offer the opportunity to scale operations up or down rapidly without incurring extra costs (82%) and are shorter term than fixed leasing arrangements (78%) allowing them to review conditions more frequently.
Firms are also renewing co-working agreements to sustainably grow the business (78%) and not just because they are less expensive than fixed leases (73%).
Paul MacAndrew, Country Manager Singapore at Regus, comments, “Using a shared workspace provides businesses with a sustainable route to growth. Co-working allows businesses to expand rapidly without committing to lengthy leases, and adapt to changing circumstances in a flexible way. For instance, firms looking to move in a new direction can use a co-working space to test the waters before making any concrete changes. On the other hand, if conditions in a particular market take a turn for the worse, downsizing will not incur the hefty penalties associated with traditional leasing arrangements.
“The rise of co-working represents a real opportunity for corporates as well as smaller businesses, as they can use this solution creatively in a way that suits their needs. Moreover, co-working helps companies free up capital to invest in growth initiatives.”