The Latest Trends Influencing Philippine Office Space Changes

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Over the last decade, the only constant in the workspace sector has been change. In the Philippines and across the world, the way we work is revolutionizing everything about the way we do business — down to our workspaces. Static, expensive, conventional workspaces with out-of-date facilities are not going to cut it for today’s workers. The expectation is to work in offices as inspired as the ideas generated by the people within.

It’s easy to see how a captivating, well-conceived interior can inspire creative thinking and productivity. Elements as simple as plants can not only improve productivity, but one of many studies have shown that they can also improve perceptions of air quality, workplace satisfaction, and cognitive function. The addition of the latest business technology will also help employees be more productive and keep information secure.

Beyond productivity, coworking spaces offer employers savings on lease costs and the power to decide how much space they lease, and for how long — options not previously available through traditional property rental agreements. Eco-conscious companies can also reduce their negative impact on the environment, while also helping to improve work-life balance, by reducing commute times with coworking spaces. Employers also have the opportunity to attract talents and adapt to the changing market, something that is invaluable to companies looking to expand their footprint. Given the median age of the workforce is 23 years old, according to National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) data, companies need coworking spaces to attract a younger talent pool.

As millennials take up a greater portion of the workforce, their needs and motivations are reshaping how workplaces are structured. In an annual global survey of business professionals conducted by IWG plc, the holding group for Spaces, 82 percent of Filipino respondents considered flexible working to be the new normal and 54 percent reported working outside their company’s main locations half the week or more. These responses exceeded global averages providing clear evidence of the changes underway in the country. A promising development of the nation’s start-up ecosystem is also a key contributor to the growing popularity of coworking spaces.

The government has taken notice of this growing trend, passing a bill in May 2019 to amend the Labor Code to allow flexible working arrangements. As a result, employers in the Philippines, and across the region, are seriously considering the potential business and workplace culture benefits of offering these types of arrangements. When metropolitan areas are overflowing with start-up talent, an ambitious freelance workforce and an endless stream of commuter traffic, like we have seen here, the conditions are ripe for a boom in flexible working. Coworking Resources estimates that memberships with flexible workspace providers in the Asia-Pacific region are growing at an average of 40 percent — outpacing the global average.

This is why Spaces’ cutting-edge, vibrant office spaces are making their mark on major Asian cities. Our World Plaza facility in Manila was recently awarded the 2019 PropertyGuru Philippine Property Award for the “Best Co-Working Space” in the country for its signature Scandinavian-inspired design. These dynamic workspaces attract a like-minded community of professionals who are open-minded and share an entrepreneurial spirit. Workspaces, like the World Plaza facility, facilitate socializing with design features meant to foster new connections and encourage new ways of working and interacting with other businesses. These stylish business clubs truly involve people in the buzz and energy of Spaces, and make them feel at home with hospitality services that include a café with freshly-baked pastries and expert baristas.

Our team makes members feel right at home, not just by helping professionals make new connections, but also by paying attention to the details so that they can focus on growing their businesses. In addition to providing fresh, healthy meals, Spaces also takes care of IT, postal and printing services, dry-cleaning, and even provides a Spaces bike members can take out for a ride. Spaces locations also host a full program of professional events, such as meet-ups and networking and learning sessions organized by local groups including Connected Women, FLAIR Image Consultancy and Young Professionals Committee of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

These elements are all part of the free-spirited, energetic environment Spaces cultivates to serve a like-minded community of future business leaders. Regardless of the business needs, our high-quality workspaces can be configured to meet them in an inviting, inspirational atmosphere, and there is definitely something to be said about working somewhere that could be on the cover of a magazine.

As the Filipino business community adapts to the rapid changes in how and where people work, Spaces can help to cultivate the growth of the local start-up community and allow employers to offer flexible workspace options to attract the best of today’s talent. The trends influencing office changes in the Philippines will only continue its push forward and Spaces is at the forefront of bringing people and ideas together so they can be on the lookout for new opportunities to thrive.

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