The continued growth in the deployment and use of flexible workspaces shows no sign of slowing down. Almost 70 per cent of global corporates are already planning for future expansion of co-working space and eight out of ten businesses surveyed are looking to increase their collaborative workspace offering over the next three years, according to the ‘Your Space’ report by Knight Frank, the global residential and commercial property consultancy. This growth will, in turn, lead to a substantial increase in the need for mobile, cloud-based, workplace management, meeting room and desk booking tools such as Matrix Booking.

The research shows that global companies are operating increasingly from flexible, serviced and co-working spaces, which create a more collaborative working environment and offer the freedom to expand and contract quickly in line with market conditions.

Knight Frank spoke with senior executives at 120 global companies that collectively employ over 3.5 million people globally, and occupy an estimated 233 million square feet of office space – equivalent to the total amount of office space available in Central London.

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Bold statements on the future growth of flexible workspaces

The ‘Your Space’ report states that the workplace represents a further strategic lever available to business leaders in their pursuit of competitive advantage and that failing to put your workspace at the heart of your strategic agenda will fail your business. According to the Knight Frank report, there are now 18,000 co-working spaces around the world, hosting almost 1.7 million workers, since the start of this decade. To emphasise the point, WeWork, a provider of shared workspaces founded in 2010, is now the largest private occupier of office space in both London and Manhattan, according to the ‘Your Space’ report.

More than half of the global corporate real estate leaders surveyed by Knight Frank regard the flexibility of co-working as its primary appeal. The report goes on to explain that the workplace is fast becoming a flexible business service that can actively support growth, rather than a fixed and financially onerous physical product.

Digital disruption challenges the way businesses operate and companies are becoming increasingly open to moving away from being tied to one office – and are considering the option of setting up workplace and/or collaboration hubs. A key benefit of creating a co-working hub is that businesses are able to bring together people working across a range of areas of expertise or departments within the business instantly – supporting collaborative working.

The advantages gleaned from setting up a co-working infrastructure are not limited to private business, as proven by the approach taken by the UK government. The recent high profile launch of 10 South Colonnade (10SC) in Canary Wharf, part of the growing Public Sector Hubs Network, which will accommodate over 6,000 civil servants – will save the government £24m a year, as they no longer need expensive office space in Whitehall.

All shared resource bookings at 10SC, including rooms and desks, are dealt with by Matrix Booking with tenants including HMRC, the Ministry of Justice and Ofgem.

Switching part or all business operations to a flexible or collaborative co-working infrastructure also links directly to increased well-being and productivity of employees, according to three out of four respondents in the ‘Your Space’ report.

The surge in flexible workspaces will continue to grow across all sectors, with clear benefits for employers and employees alike. The common denominator will be the need to coordinate, monitor and manage these workspaces, which is where Matrix Booking is positioned perfectly to provide the ideal solution.