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Flex workspace market to flourish as 35-40% of companies prefer hybrid working

November 23, 2022: Coworking spaces network, Awfis and Qdesq, a tech-enabled workplace provider, collaborated to bring out the Indian Flex Occupier’s Survey 2022. The survey delves deep into the preferences of flexible workspace occupiers, as well as also provides valuable insights about the expectations from their employers. 

The survey states that about 35-40% of companies of all sizes prefer the idea of hybrid working. As flexibility became the cornerstone of workplace solutions during the pandemic, the workforce now needs the same level of flexibility in the post-pandemic era. 

The start of the pandemic caused the movement of Indian workers back to their hometowns. As a result, businesses pivoted to a hybrid work model to give their employees the advantages of both working from home and working from an office. Organizations are progressively collaborating with flex space operators to ensure the seamless execution of the hybrid work model despite office development in numerous places. Around 45% of corporations are looking for new office spaces including conventional and flex, while 35% of them already instituted a multi-office approach through collaboration with coworking spaces.

Key statistics 
Pharmaceuticals are 90% in favor of working from office.  50% of the Technology and Retail sector companies are favoring Hybrid working
More than 70% of the smaller firms are in favor of working from the office
45% are looking for new office spaces including conventional and flex
5% will give up office space for dedicated rooms  
More than 50% of Occupiers prefer 2-5 days/week work from office

Source: Qdesq, Awfis

Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis said, The long-term future of the entire business will be determined by the current occupier patterns, which are also creating new expansion opportunities for flex space operators in the short term. This is an opportune time for flex space operators to reinvent their workspaces, diversify their presence in cities, and carefully analyse tenant expectations to accommodate them effectively as flexibility continues to hold sway over workplace strategies of enterprises of all sizes.”

“The pandemic-induced shift in occupier demands completely transformed the coworking sector in India. In times of uncertainty, the coworking industry saw a new set of workplace requirements that later evolved into a new style of working after the global affliction. At Awfis, we recognised these changes as a revolutionary growth opportunity and immediately redesigned our products through innovation, paving the path for success, growth, and expansion. We hope that the survey insights shared through Awfis & Qdesq joint report serve in guiding occupiers in making informed decisions for their workplace portfolio.” said  Sumit Lakhani, Deputy CEO, Awfis.

Paras Arora, Founder & CEO, Qdesq said “The post-pandemic era is a witness to the deployment of new workspace models to maintain profitability,  instil work flexibility and employees’ well-being. No longer confined to small startups, the flexible workspace segment, today, is embracing the arrival of various big enterprises. As firms continue to evolve with the changing market dynamics, the workforce expectations, too, have changed with new working models like hybrid, work-from-home, and working from office coming to the fore”.

INDIAN FLEX OCCUPIER’S SURVEY 2022 HIGHLIGHTS AND TRENDS

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INDUSTRY-WISE COMPOSITION

Interestingly more than 70% of the smaller firms are in favor of working from the office, while only 15% of the larger firms follow suit, 70% of whom prefer hybrid

Banking, Insurance and Technology companies will lead the demand for office spaces in 2023 as the financial services industry’s quick embrace of digital platforms and the availability of tech-savvy individuals in India. By depending on flex workspace suppliers, numerous large businesses in these sectors are also implementing the hybrid work model. 

Majority of the workforce prefers to work three to five days per week from the office now that things are returning to normal and offices are open, believing that this will foster greater productivity and better teamwork. A very small niche of the workforce prefers two days at work. 

WORKSPACE PORTFOLIO

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The survey demonstrates the significant evolution of occupier needs, which will be advantageous for the expansion of the coworking sector.

Most respondents are eager to collaborate with coworking players to successfully implement a strategy for a distributed workforce, while 30% of respondents are searching for more affordable alternatives to rental offices to have more financial flexibility. 

The remaining respondents want to choose managed offices to absolve themselves of workspace administration duties that would otherwise be expertly handled by office space providers.

OCCUPIER’S TAKE ON TECH

Technology will play a pivotal role in redefining workspaces by delivering a seamless user experience. 76% of occupiers prefer a seamless tech interface to book meeting rooms and manage visitors. 

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COWORKING OCCUPANCY DECISION MATRIX

The experience that office spaces provide significantly impacts the decision-making matrix that will guide the workspace selection. While many elements affect a worker’s choices, the survey identifies that Price and Budget, along with Office space availability, are more critical than the Design and Aesthetic of the working space. While events, activities and technological infrastructure are ranked low on the priority list, they are still important factors to consider. 

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