On June 4, 2021, AmCham Real Estate Council has casted spotlight on co-working and co-working spaces.
Rostislav Novák of Lordship, the moderator of the session, lead us through the philosophy, global trends, and the story behind the first coworking spaces. The phrase co-working was first used in 1999 by a game designer for a collaborative and non-hierarchical work, and in 2002 an old factory enabled entrepreneurs to work away from home and connect like-minded people. “In 2018, there were almost 17,000 co-working spaces around the globe. If you are a landlord and have 1,000-2,000 sq m of spare space, co-work can be an option for you.”
Ondřej Zabloudil of Deloitte explained the background behind the shift, providing data that showed the continuously rising trend for co-working spaces. The whole economy is changing. Annual working hours per worker are constantly decreasing and the work we do has changed in nature. The Czech Republic has a low share of part-timers on the total workforce (3% of men and 8.3% of women, compared to 19.4% of men and 56.9% of women in the Netherlands, for example). “The share will go up significantly in the future and it will have an impact on where people will work”. The prediction for 2021 is 23,500 co-working spaces worldwide and for 2024 it is 42,000 co-working spaces, with the number of co-working spaces users expected to rise from 2.4 million to almost 4.99 million. There were over 90,000 sq m of co-work spaces available in Prague in 2020. „The future is hybrid. Coworking spaces could solve the issue of work productivity“, Ondřej Zabloudil pointed out.
Pavel Přikryl of Opero in Prague has highlighted the fact that “co-working is not only about „providing a chair“, but primarily about connecting people” - and this the value provided to customers. Around one half of the Opero customers own or have access to their own offices, but use the coworking space for events, meetings, or as a second office instead of HQ offices (and not only during the pandemic). Co-work also serves in situations and for purposes when clients do not want for some reason use their own premises or restaurants. According to a survey conducted by Opero, on the one hand, employees valued the time, freedom, the environmental impact of less frequent commuting, the benefits of work from anywhere, anytime. On the other hand, it is not true that offices are a matter of the past. The creative tasks, company culture nurturing and development, on-site job trainings vital for consultancies, for example, and psychological aspects are crucial issues to address. „The future is definitely hybrid. The office will survive, in the form of a more collaborative space.“
Klára Mezouar Šikulová of Clubco, a CTP project in Brno, explained that CTP, known primarily as an industrial developer, felt increasing demand for co-working space, a trend that arrived in Brno. There is currently 9,000 sq m of co-working space available in the second largest city in the Czech Republic, a gap to fill. Clubco is a pilot project. CTP as a landlord of Brno Vlněna premises considered a co-work franchise, but later decided for the own co-work in own premises concept to be able to communicate with the clients directly. „We see companies changing their working model strategies. Part of their employees are happy to work remotely or in flexible working environment.“ The demand is on the rise particularly among startups, freelancers, and SMEs. They are interested mainly in offices for 3-4 persons, but lately also in individual offices, as some individuals do not want to share office.