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how the Coronavirus is impacting the Flex Workspace industry globally.
We are living through an historic crisis that in addition to being a health and sanitary crisis, is a mobility crisis.
From being able to reach 99% of the world's capitals for a few hundred dollars and a few connecting flights, 1Bn+ people are now confined in their homes with heavy restrictions on how far and often they can leave. Moving from the world's airports to being stuck in their block.
Millions of companies have been forced to adapt their work from home policies overnight. Companies are reviewing their office leases, investing in tech to ease their employees' remote working. The following chart shows Zoom's traffic according to similarweb:
In this context of forced WFH and necessary social distancing, the Flex industry is amongst those that are hit the hardest.
For the next few months at least, flexible workspaces will be closed or operating at historically low levels of occupancy.
We however anticipate that flexible workspaces will be one of the industries growing out stronger from this crisis. We see two major trends that will make our total addressable market grow and our opportunities with it:
1. As large corporates will be uncertain of the business cycle for the next 12 - 18 months, it seems likely that the demand for flexible office solutions will increase. It is our belief that flexible and temporary leases will look more appealing to businesses as they navigate through the post crisis.
2. Today, a lot of companies are forced to try a total work from home policy. We can expect a portion of these companies to finally opt for full remote work as they prove themselves that this option works for them. Habits are being built in these historic days. This could translate into a huge increase in demand for coworking from individuals and companies having opted to adopt a more flexible working culture.
Now would be an amazing time to start the process of opening a coworking space.— Josh Pigford (@Shpigford) March 28, 2020
When the dust settles, a huge number of companies will realize they don’t need/want office space and folks around the world will be itching for their own workspace.
We know our industry is going through very hard times, but we are confident that it will grow out stronger than ever.
In this context, and in order to give back to investors and landlords the confidence they had in our industry, we strongly believe that data and benchmarking is no longer a luxury, it is an urgent necessity for our entire industry.