A SHIFT towards flexible workspaces by multinational companies (MNCs) is one of the trends that defined the Philippine property market in 2018, according to real estate services provider Santos Knight Frank, Inc.
During a media briefing last Nov. 23, officials of Santos Knight Frank cited a recent study showing 69% of MNCs are planning to increase their use of co-working spaces and 80% are expecting to grow the collaborative spaces they use over the next three years.
The study also showed 44% of companies said a fifth of their office space would be allocated as flexible spaces.
The Philippines currently has 110 co-working locations in Metro Manila, with each taking up 2,000 square meters (sq.m.) to 5,000 sq.m. per transaction.
The growth of these co-working spaces in the last two years was fueled by the companies’ need for flexibility.
Francis S. Gono, Santos Knight Frank director for occupier services and commercial agency, said these flexible spaces boost employee experience and learning. In return, employees are better able to deliver services to customers, which translate into improved company performance.
“It’s a workplace that fosters collaboration and growth of ideas not just delivery. So, what happens when employees get the proper workplace experience they stay… because they enjoy their work, they are happy… they learn more, and when they learn more, they are able to put the proper service at the proper time…” Mr. Gono said.
“The customer gets what he wants and the employees are happy and they stay and companies are able to deliver,” he added.
He noted workplaces are evolving right now, with companies partnering with co-working space providers to transform their offices into something where there will be more “collaboration” among employees.
“We see this as a trend and we see this as a continuing trend in the country,” Mr. Gono said.
Rick M. Santos, chairman and chief executive officer of Santos Knight Frank, noted the “sunrise idea” of co-working space is seen to further rise as other service providers, like We Work, expand in the country.
Mr. Santos said co-working companies will be account for a third of office take-up in the country in the next three to five years. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang