IWG expects occupancy in PHL working spaces to hit 90%

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Flexible workspaces are becoming increasingly popular in Metro Manila.

INTERNATIONAL Workplace Group (IWG) expects occupancy in its flexible workspace facilities in the Philippines to hit 90% occupancy by end-2019.

“We expect to end the year with 90% occupancy for the total business in the Philippines. That’s extremely high,” Lars Wittig, country manager of IWG Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia said at a media briefing on Wednesday.

IWG, which established its presence in the Philippines in 1998, currently has 28 facilities under the Regus and Spaces brands nationwide. Most are located in Metro Manila, while others are in Davao, Cebu and Clark.

Mr. Wittig said the 28 flexible workspace facilities can accommodate up to 7,000 customers.

In 2018, the company’s business in the Philippines had achieved 85% occupancy, he noted.

“The Philippines, is one of the four best performing countries in the world for IWG. We have 120 countries, and we have 3,400 locations,” he said.

Mr. Wittig said the trends have changed recently as customers now prefer to sign up for longer periods.

“What we saw about five years ago was that we would have the start-ups, we would have the new investors and then they would be with us for a certain time period and sign up for maybe six to nine months and maybe for average three to five workstations. Eventually they would move out. Why? They would say, ‘Now we are ready for our own space,’” he said.

“That’s not the case anymore. Now, we have start-ups but we also have the largest ones, the pharmaceuticals, etc. We get new customers, they sign up for much longer terms. The likelihood of them renewing is much, much greater. Why? Because the unpredictability, the speed of change is so extreme now,” he added.

Mr. Wittig said the IWG Philippines received a total of 227 new customers last September. The average monthly number of new customers in the Philippines is “over 200,” he added.

On IWG’s expansion plans, he said: “It is my mandate to follow the demand in order to keep expanding the network to benefit all customers including the existing ones, as well as to accommodate the new members.” — Arjay L. Balinbin