Insights from the Flex Office Conference 2018

Written on Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Flex Office 2018 conference (12 -14 September 2018) hosted by the Global Workspace Association (GWA) and the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP), brought together a dynamic group of owners, operators and developers to explore the future of office space. Orega's newly announced COO, Lynsey O'Keefe, decided to travel all the way from the UK to Austin, Texas, to share with us the latest insights and trends.

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Image Source: GWA

Key note speaker Antony Slumbers, who's an experienced Digital Strategist & Product Leader in the #PropTech space, shared during the Flex Office 2018 conference the secrets to success within the property industry - and here are Lynsey's key takeaways: 

SPACE AS A SERVICE

Businesses don’t want just an office; they want productive workforces, and 57% believe that isn’t the case today. So, how can you increase productivity within the workspace?

Looking at the world today, regardless of demographic or generation – we want services and access, not products or ownership. A great example of how our mindset has changed is Netflix or Spotify: Do we need to own the product? No, we only need access to it, when we want to and our way. 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL AFFECT THE OFFICE

Fact is, the provision of space as a service as well as day-to-day human interactions can't be automated, which means the space we provide will have to be different and feed ‘creation’.

AI continues to change the nature of work. Structured, repeatable and predictable work will be replaced through new AI technology and automation. The critical thing missing in what AI can do is creation. There will be a new way of working with a strong focus on design, imagination, inspiration, creation, empathy, intuition, innovation, collaboration, social intelligence and judgement. Eventually, human plus machine wins.

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Image Source: Unsplash

INCREASING TREND FOR CHANGE

Companies are vacating when leases end, finding more efficient options. Fact is, the trend of terminating leases has increased from 40% to 75% within the last 20 years. It is a buyers’ market and leases are shortening, dropping from an average of 15 to 5 year tenure. 

THE FUTURE OF FLEXIBLE WORKING

Flexible working means working wherever, whenever, with no fixed address.

Historically, most businesses had 100% desks available for their employees. With the change in technology, the average utilisation is 40%. The cost of real estate is high, and it's a pure waste of money when budgets are crunched. The dilemma, downsize and hope for the best or find a flexible space where demand can be changed, with the option to extend workspace, have access to conference rooms, lounges, hot desks, co-working and overflow.

Large businesses know 'flexible working will be a characteristic of the future workplace, organisations of 6,000+ have up to 10% flexibility today, and this will be at 66% by 2018’ Google, Workplace 2020 published in 2015.

THE IMPORTANCE OF USER EXPERIENCE

UX is critical to every business and data is an important tool to build a product, constantly measure consumer metrics and learn from the results to respond to customers needs with an improved product or service. 

Real estate historically has been a B2B world; this is changing as B2C will drive the decisions. Therefore, exceptional hospitality, such as a welcoming reception and entertainment of visitors, will drive the experience.  

THE OFFICE NEEDS TO BE AN IPHONE

Apple has 18% of smartphone market share but 82% of the profits, because they have made a perfect combination of hardware, software and services – the compelling whole.

HOW CAN SERVICED OFFICES SUPPORT THE CHANGE?

Serviced offices can offer landlords and partners the length of tenure and provide customers with the creative space and supportive service needed to adapt their business to industry changes. With the fast pace of technology, small businesses can cut down excessive costs, and larger businesses with remote teams can build a productive and connected virtual workforce.

Serviced offices and co-working are a great solution to the change approaching for all company sizes. We know, driving communities, a design-led workspace, flexibility, affordability, compelling hospitality, and turnkey offers create an outstanding user experience. Using our insight, we can help companies create great homes for just right now or in the long-term.

If you are considering a change, get in touch with us and let us help you understand your needs for today and the future.

 

conferences, industry insights, flexible workspace, flexible working, serviced offices, Flex Office

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