For Canadian office workers, the future still appears to be the shared floor plan.
Despite WeWork being in crisis mode in Canada for much of the second half of 2019, flexible offices will likely remain one of the commercial sector’s hottest growth areas this year, Avison Young predicted in its newly released 2020 Forecast.
“As a market disruptor, it’s not surprising that WeWork received disproportionate levels of attention for cancelling its public offering,” Avison Young stated. “But we all know its instincts are correct.”
A major driver of this trend is the impact of tech advances, especially in the communications sphere, on the very nature of what it means to work.
“The world is in the early stages of a transformational period as the technological revolution takes over from globalization as the primary driver of business change. For all sorts of reasons, workplace flexibility is at the forefront of occupiers’ minds.”
Employment demographics are also playing a large part in this shift. “The talented individuals that employers want to target are increasingly drawn from the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts. Like it or not, this talent is making new demands for, amongst other things, work/life integration and a more dynamic work environment.”
Moreover, “there is also a growing need for occupiers to flex in and out of space to react to economic cycles, to reconfigure it to drive efficiencies and to remain nimble by adapting space to special projects or assignments.
Avison Young estimated that at present, flexible set-ups represent around 5% of the nation’s office space.
“Within ten years, this is expected to make a transformative leap to 15-30%. That’s because this is no longer just about freelancers and start-ups; this is smart thinking across all businesses. For occupiers and institutional owners, the future is the core-and-flex combo.”