May 10, 2023 by Andrea Rajic
Table of contents
- Top cities for flex workspace usage in the US are NYC and San Francisco, while outside of the US, the biggest demand is in Europe
- The most requested and used type of workspace is the common area seat in coworking spaces
- 53% of employees say they go into their flex spaces to achieve in-person connections
Gable’s latest report, 2023 Trends: How Companies Use Flexible Workspaces, is now available. This report uses our own user data, as well as statistics from reputable sources such as JLL, CBRE, Gallup, and Gensler, among others, to get insights into:
Our findings show that while 53% of employees want to work in some sort of hybrid setting moving forward, Workplace and People leaders are tasked with replicating office-like experiences for distributed teams.
More than half of employees book flexible offices to achieve in-person connections, and they prefer doing so by booking common seats in coworking spaces.
Here’s a closer look at our report.
New York and San Francisco head the list of US cities where employees book flex offices the most, and it’s not surprising, as we’ve always seen these two markets top our lists, but this year they’re followed by Denver, Austin, and Chicago.
When it comes to the rest of the world, Europe leads the way as seven out of ten cities are in Europe. However, this year, we’re seeing the APAC region grow and emerge as a growing market for remote workers looking for office flexibility.
These lists show that even companies that have larger employee pools in big metro areas won’t always decide to get a long-term lease for their workers in the area. Instead, they’re using flex spaces as a way to meet employees’ calls for flexibility, while still providing them with spaces to connect and collaborate in person - not to mention the cost savings on office leases in cities where rents are sky high.
Unsurprisingly, employees most often book common seats with hot desks in coworking spaces. It’s less of a remnant of the old open office floor plans and more a signal of the desire to meet, mingle, and collaborate with coworkers in person, and in a lively atmosphere.
And the coworking industry has caught wind of this change, offering unique layouts, premium amenities, and a wide variety of areas in the flexible office market, so even the most demanding workers can find their perfect match.
For younger generations of employees, there’s a demand for amenity-filled, hospitality-driven spaces. In other words, these workers don’t need a desk to get their job done — they can do that at home just fine. What they want is an experience that facilitates in-person connections, relationship-building, and advancing their career.
While the costs of flex workspaces depend on the location and the type of space, the average prices are still much less than an office lease, especially in large cities in the US and internationally.
The average price of a common seat in a coworking space is $34 per day, while the average cost for a meeting room seating 7-12 people is $530 per day. With these prices in mind, companies are increasingly introducing flexible workplace strategies that mix and match their traditional office spaces with flex providers, especially if their workforces are geographically distributed.
Employees are still enjoying - and insisting on - the benefits of flexible working. Being able to set their own hours, enjoy the comfort of their home offices, and work for exciting companies from anywhere in the world is a game-changer for many international professionals.
But it’s not all rosy. Our data shows that just over 53% of employees go into flexible workspaces to offset remote work isolation and achieve in-person connections with their coworkers, peers, and managers - something they feel the remote world is missing.
On top of that, an additional 33% go into the office to change scenery, showing that some sort of hybrid work is the work environment that fits them best - giving them both the chance to connect and build relationships and get the best of flexibility.
Companies considering a return-to-office strategy often think their choice is either a full-time office mandate or a 100% remote workforce. In reality, there’s plenty of room in the middle to design a strategy that works for your company and takes into account where your employees are and how they work best.
Flex workspaces are a useful tool in the belt of Workplace and People leaders trying to achieve the ideal: retain employees, keep them engaged, facilitate in-person connections, and stay on budget in a tight economy. It’s a rare opportunity to achieve work-life balance and provide exceptional employee experience, along with achieving real estate cost reductions.
So what’s in store for the future of work, and how will flexibility continue to impact work environments in companies of all sizes? We think every company size, from small businesses and startups to large enterprises, will continue to benefit from flexibility, location-agnostic hiring, and flex workspace solutions.
Here’s how Gable can help:
Set up your distributed team for success
Help employees connect with access to remote workspaces and stay on top of budget spending, usage data and trends, and employee feedback.