Supply and rent of Flexible spaces in Seoul Major co-working operators include WeWork, Fast Five, Sparkplus, Regus, and JustCo (by the number of centres). Having the largest numbers, Fast Five is currently operating 28 branches and is scheduled to open up to 35 centres within 3Q21. WeWork operates 20 branches, Sparkplus operates 17, while Regus has 11 branches in total, including Spaces. According to a JLL survey, the Flexible space supply in Seoul is currently about 330,000 square metre, with a districtwide percentage of CBD nearly 23%, Yeouido about 5%, and Gangnam around 72%. According to the survey, the average price of a hot desk stood at about KRW 320,000/person as of Q1 2021. Recently, co-working operators have introduced hot desk passes where users can freely use hot desks in multiple branches. Effective rent for 4-6 seats is around KRW 490,000 per person, which is the most preferred type for SMEs. Recent issues in Korea’s Flexible spaces Despite the concerns regarding the pandemic, flexible offices in Korea held up relatively well for the following reasons. Firstly, the demand to switch to smart offices accelerated with the heightened social distancing measures. Several domestic conglomerates have introduced satellite offices for employees to choose where they want to work from. In doing so, these companies signed leases with co-working offices. In addition, many small businesses preferred short lease terms amid heightened business uncertainties. As they are given wider options, from the number of seats to the flexibility in lease terms, tenants started to look more into flexible offices. As such, co-working offices have found ways to combat the pandemic-driven economic downturn by offering ‘flexibility,’ thereby gaining a comparative advantage over traditional office buildings.

June 10, 2021 / By  

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