SG flexible workspace 2.0: core + flex

September 23, 2019 / By  

Over the years, the flexible workspace eco-system in Singapore has seen steady growth, with demand from enterprises gaining traction. Corporates are drawn to the opportunity for employees to collaborate and learn with like-minded individuals from other companies within the facility. The heightened uncertainties amid high office rents and the tight supply environment are other factors driving recent demand by enterprises for flexible workspace.

With more enterprises coming on board, flexible workspace operators have tilted their offerings by incorporating more private office suites within their facilities to cater to corporates’ need for some form of privacy. The private office suites resemble a conventional office setting. But companies get to enjoy the flexibility of stationing some staff at the hot-desking space just outside the suites when there is a temporary increase in headcount.

Landlords are developing their own Core + Flex model

Inspired by co-working operators’ ability to provide flexibility to tenants, many landlords are also introducing their own long-term office space (Core) + flexible (Flex) model to cater to enterprises.

For example, CapitaLand recently rolled out its “office of the future” strategy that involves an integrated offering of core and flex space with community-driven and tech-enabled workplace solutions to meet evolving business space requirements. Tenants will be allowed to mix and match traditional office space with flexible space into a lease, as well as customise the fixed and variable lease terms according to their needs. This strategy is managed by a JV between CapitaLand and The Work Project and is being piloted at Capital Tower and Asia Square Tower 2, both within the CBD.

In the same light, Lendlease has launched its own flexible workspace brand called csuites at the recently completed PLQ at Paya Lebar, which also houses conventional office space for tenants. The co-working space features ten office suites of various sizes that can accommodate 50 to 170 persons each. Tenants would be supported by additional hot-desking and flexible workspaces when required. The largest office suite is home to its landlord, Lendlease, which has moved its Asian headquarters and PLQ development team into the workspace.

GuocoLand is also deploying a “core and flex” leasing strategy at its upcoming integrated project at Guoco Midtown along Beach Road, slated to complete in 2022, to give tenants the flexibility to expand or contract their teams without having to move or renovate their main office space. Two floors will also be set aside for tenants to set-up “innovation laboratories” or experimental start-ups. Additionally, there will be networking lounges, collaborative workspaces, seminar and training rooms as well as facilities for company town hall meetings.

Major landlords here are not only making flexible space part and parcel of their overall workspace solution offerings, but they are also allocating a higher proportion of their office space for co-working/flexible space. Based on our analysis, most investment grade buildings completed from 2018 onwards tend to allocate about 10-20% to flexible workspace. This is up from less than 10% before 2018.

With more and more landlords developing their own innovative flexible workspace models, the flexible space market in Singapore is moving beyond the original model of co-working catering to start-ups and freelancers.

Heatmap of Co-working Facilities in Singapore

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