The rise of flexible space in Asia Pacific has been meteoric. JLL research indicates major operators grew their footprint at an annualized rate of 35% over the 2014-2017 period and that pace of growth has carried over into 2018 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Flexible space stock*
Source: JLL Research

A number of factors have driven the growth of this industry, and the co-working segment in particular, including the flexible terms offered to members, the plug and play ease of setting up, the sense of community and ready access to social and professional networks.

Initially co-working appealed to startups who found it more affordable than opening a traditional office.

To date the most popular flexible space model has been rent arbitrage.

But increasingly large corporates have started including co-working in their real estate strategy. And to accommodate corporates, operators have increased the size of their centres – our latest research indicates the average flexible space lease grew nearly 40% in 2016 (Figure 2). That momentum has slowed somewhat but centres have continued…

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