The number of co-working spaces has grown exponentially in recent years, with advances in technology underpinning a rise in mobile and freelance working. The growth of the co-working space has redefined the parameters of office markets across the country as shifts in demand create new opportunities for commercial property owners.
According to CBRE there are now more than 120 co-working sites, with the majority located in New South Wales (30%) and Victoria (25%).
A new CBRE Viewpoint highlights the rapid transformation of global office markets over the past five years, with businesses and individuals adopting co-working space models such as serviced offices and flexible desk leasing arrangements.
CBRE Research Analyst Anne Flaherty said technological advances were creating new business opportunities, which was spawning a rise in the number of start-ups.
“For these businesses, serviced offices present an attractive option, offering flexibility, affordability and the opportunity to meet and work amongst other entrepreneurs,” Ms Flaherty said.
“For many small businesses and start-ups that may not be in a position to commit to the requirements of a formal lease agreement, co-working spaces offer significantly greater flexibility.”
CBRE Director, Workplace Strategy, Matt Strudwick said technology had liberated organisations from the traditional view of the office being the place to work.
“Organisations are using a mix of spaces to provide an attractive proposition to their employees, service their clients more effectively and drive out some of the fixed costs of traditional office space,” Mr Strudwick explained.
“Employees have been empowered to work from client locations and from home in the past, but co-working spaces offer something more. Co-working spaces are conducive to fostering and enhancing an entrepreneurial culture and a sense of team.”
“While the co-working office offers an attractive work space for start-ups and small businesses, it is not just these companies that we are seeing demand from,” Mr Strudwick explained.
“There is a growing trend whereby big corporates are leasing desk space in co-working hubs, so as to expose their employees to new ideas and innovative working environments.”
Under the agreement, Regus will manage the Cromwell Business Hub at 200 Mary Street in Brisbane. The co-branded space takes up 335 sqm on the mezzanine level of the building and will complement the Regus Business Centre located on Level 16 of the building, which opened in September last year.
Cromwell Director of Leasing Bobby Binning said the company recognised the need for flexibility in workplace accommodation.
“Not everyone wants to pay for extra space that they may only use once a month, but to know you can have free access to additional meeting rooms when you need it – our customers see value in that,” he said.
The contemporary mezzanine level space was designed by Sydney-based interior designers The Bold Collective and responds to the growing entrepreneurial Brisbane environment.
Demand for these types of facilities has risen dramatically in Brisbane over the past two years, leading Regus to more than double the number of its Regis Express locations to eight.
Existing and future 200 Mary Street tenants will have free access to the facility while external users will be able to book space through Regus.
Mr Binning said the facility was originally developed as part of Cromwell’s re-visioning of 200 Mary Street which also includes new high end of trip, bicycle, shower and locker facilities.
“At Cromwell we get to know our tenant customers and understand their key business drivers. We have identified that one of the key themes valued by SME’s in this economic environment is having flexibility in relation to their workspace strategy,” he said.
“This new facility provides our 200 Mary Street tenant customers with an exceptional amenity, allowing them more workspace flexibility and efficiency with a central CBD location.