Nearly two-thirds of companies utilize coworking to some degree, and many respondents expect to double their commitment to coworking over the next five years, according to a new report issued by Cushman & Wakefield.
The broker partnered with CoreNet Global, a worldwide association of corporate real estate executives, to survey more than 550 key commercial real estate (CRE) executives at organizations around the world. Participants were asked about their general perceptions of the coworking sector, the pros and cons of using coworking, expected impacts on cost, and past and future employee utilization of flexible office spaces.
'The results show that corporate leaders have a generally positive view of coworking and see flexible space as a growing part of their occupancy strategy,' said Tamás Polster, head of strategic consulting EMEA in C&W’s Global Occupier Services team. 'The percentage of employees with access to flex space is on the rise, and respondents on average plan to have 24% of their staff utilizing coworking on a regular basis within the next five years.'
One-third of companies using flexible space report occupancy cost savings of more than 5%.
'Increasingly, corporate executives recognise that integrating flexible space into their strategy provides significant value in terms of talent attraction whilst reducing occupancy costs by enabling them to adapt to constant headcount variations,' added Polster.
Despite an overall positive view of coworking, CRE executives are realistic about the challenges for the workforce.
Approximately half (48%) of respondents see an increased difficulty in maintaining company culture and cohesion when workers are operating out of a shared, coworking location. In addition, a similar number of respondents cited digital security as a potential concern. Despite stated concerns from commercial real estate executives, national and global flexible workplace providers have a long track record of providing clients with access to necessary digital security mechanisms. Additionally, companies are 50% more likely to indicate coworking is an opportunity to increase employee satisfaction than it is a likely deterrent to employee engagement, job satisfaction or efficiency.