The number of co-working or flexible office spaces has risen from about 78 sites six years ago to more than 400 in Australia’s two main capital cities as employers respond to growth in the gig economy and the demands of millennial workers.
Most new office towers now have at least one or more “Flex” floors for leasing, and owners of older properties are now incorporating a form of co-working space in the building or the foyer.
JLL’s head of office leasing Australia Tim O’Connor said the expansion of “Flexible space providers actually generate new demand”.
“These large corporates are choosing to augment traditional leases with flexible space as business needs arise,” GPT’s head of office & logistics Matthew Faddy, said.
Hub Australia chief executive and founder, Brad Krauskopf, said the demand for quality co-working space was not slowing down, especially in Sydney where office vacancy has hit 4.1 per cent which is the lowest level since 2000.
“Organisations will embrace this model as it allows them greater flexibility in how they manage their real estate requirements. Most mid-to-large size organisations will have core space and utilise flexible space provided directly by a landlord or co-working operator as the business expands or project space is required,” Mr Ballantyne said.
In Melbourne, JLL’s senior director, office leasing James Palmer said in the March quarter, co-working provider JustCo entered the Melbourne market, leasing three separate spaces totalling 16,970 sqm.