Flexible workplaces are proving popular. Image – Canva
  • As restrictions ease and employees return to work, flexibility is proving popular
  • Suburban markets in particular are hotspots
  • The Instant Group has released research into the post-pandemic flex workplace

Demand for flexible workplaces is elevated as many Aussies enjoy the easing of Covid restrictions according to new research from The Instant Group.

Flexible workplaces like executives’ suites and coworking spaces are experiencing their highest demand for the past three months and are close to the pre-pandemic market peak in October 2019.

Tom Fleming, Business Development Director at Instant Offices, explained that many firms use flex workspace in the transition as they get employees back in the office environment.

“The Australian market is showing signs of replicating the global trends we have seen in the post-lockdown markets. ” 

Tom Fleming, Instant Offices Business Development Director

“Key markets in London, NYC and Paris are all trending towards the pre-pandemic highs for demand, and Australia’s city markets are heading in a similar direction,” he said.

Flexibility has been deemed as highly important as workplaces begin to enter a post-pandemic world with many employees unwilling to sacrifice the newfound flexibility they experienced through working from home.

Mr Fleming has highlighted the flexible workplaces have come under pressure as they face the challenges that come with high demand.

“It is going to be an interesting time for the office market to shift up a gear after a very difficult year,” he said.

Suburban flexible workplaces have proven to be in high demand over the past year.

In Melbourne’s CBD for example transactions dropped by 39% in the last year.

But for operators in surrounding suburban areas such as Box Hill, Hawthorn, Heidelberg and Richmond transaction levels are up to 100% higher than those of 2019.

This is according to research from Instant.

Office agility

As firms recognise the benefits of shifting away from the traditional office style, Instant has reported transaction size and contract length has increased for Australian flexible workplaces in the past year.

Hybrid workplaces allow businesses to have a more agile real estate structure that can better withstand any future shocks and changes.

Sean Lynch, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Instant Offices, said the next two years will see businesses small and large reassessing their office use.

“It is a time to test different designs, locations and modes of working, as well as explore alternative routes to delivery,” said Mr Lynch.

“Demand for workspace has quickly returned but buyers are looking for short-term options while they rethink the very purpose of their workspace.”

Sean Lynch, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Instant Offices

“It will make for a unique point of time in the history and function of the office itself,” said Mr Lynch.

As of yet, this does not seem to have placed upward pressure on prices in Australia.

Desk rates in flexible workplaces have also actually declined in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as  Canberra and Melbourne where rates dropped by 21% and 15% respectively.

The only city where desk rates increased was Sydney.

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