Limited office space, need for flexibility could support demand for co-working market

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

CO-WORKING demand in Singapore could remain firm as some firms opt to rein in capital expenditure, amid tight vacancies in the office market, rising rents and economic headwinds.

Occupancy has recovered from the troughs seen during the pandemic, when safe distancing measures kept employees home-bound, said several co-working operators.

“Post-pandemic, we have noticed a greater receptivity for co-working and flex space,” said Ho Seng Chee, the chief corporate officer of JustCo. “There is increased demand for co-working across all our markets in Asia-Pacific.” Ho also noted that more multinational corporations (MNCs) are using flexible workspaces as their primary office.

According to JustCo, its average occupancy globally has recovered to over 80 per cent, rising steadily since January this year. In Singapore, the number of members using its centres on weekdays in September had nearly trebled from the same month a year ago.

In the Republic, JustCo has 17 locations spanning over 500,000 square feet (sq ft), and is seeing more users now working out of different locations – as opposed to a single centre – in a nod to the rising popularity of the work-from-anywhere model. In November, it will open a 48,000 sq ft space at International Plaza.

At WeWork, which has 14 locations here, Q2 occupancy stood at 87 per cent, up 25 percentage points year on year. Daily footfall also rose 21 per cent quarter on quarter in Q2 2022.

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