Flexible workspaces are business workspaces leased by organizations or individuals for periods of time shorter than traditional office leases.Opportunities for flexible workspace in Singapore focus on property services, and ICT solutions and services.
Ease of doing business attracts large corporations and multinational companies to Singapore; this is further backed by the government’s sustainability drive and redevelopment of aging buildings, which have led to office spaces in the city being valued attractively.Movement restriction during 2020 and the better part of 2021 contributed to the uncertainty around office space demand; this has made the flexible workspace model a more realistic option for business owners and organizations adopting hybrid work and operations models.
The flexible workspace market operates on a business model that may be referred to as Space-as-a-Service (SPaaS).Flexible office services (or SPaaS) focuses on enhancing user experience through convenience, comfort, and flexibility, and has led to a surge in co-living and co-working spaces in the country.
Reduced expenditure, flexibility in lease period, modern amenities and trendy services, and maintenance-inclusive assets, such as lighting and air-conditioning, drive the adoption of this business model. The shift in trends and high expectation from occupiers has made growth challenging for smaller or new flexible office operators. Gaps in the expectations of occupiers and operators continue to be an issue, primarily because of the dynamic nature of occupiers’ operations approach and business environment. Another identified challenge in the market is perception of the flexible workspace being a temporary space with non-exclusive address. This end-user perception may impede potential growth of flexible office in Singapore. The outlook for the flexible workspace market in Singapore is moderately optimistic. Singapore’s central business district (CBD) remains the preferred location for market participants because of the area’s appeal to prominent companies; these companies usually have workplace strategy policies of only opening offices in prominent locations that reinforce branding and corporate image. On the other hand, city fringe or suburban locations are in demand too. However, flexible workspace requirements in these areas may focus on smaller number of desks requirement, catering to hybrid working models and the WNH trend. End users with flexible offices in these areas usually maintain a main office in the CBD.
Author: Janice Wung