Feb 16, 2016
Sharing Economy: Co-Working Will Disrupt Property Sector
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Technology has enabled entrepreneurs to streamline delivery of services in sharing economy sectors such as car-pooling and peer-to-peer lending. “Flawless digital tools…..Are a requirement for all players in the sharing economy,” says Deborah Bothun, a global leader at PwC US, and Kellogg School MBA.

Now, tech innovators are out to shake up the property market. And it is ripe for disruption, according to a survey of the world’s future business leaders by BusinessBecause. A number of MBA students surveyed cited shared spaces as the office of 2050, while 62% are willing to share their offices with others; 42% their homes.

The proliferation of online property portals like Rightmove, Zillow and Trulia have pushed real estate sales online, and the likes of eMoov and SpareRoom have long let people share homes through slick sites.  

But a new wave of start-ups such as WeWork, ImpactHub and Club Workspace are now attempting to challenge the commercial property market — worth $13.6 trillion globally.

Property advisers DTZ estimate that up to 8% of global office space is used for co-working. London is the top shared office destination, with more than 800 flexible offices, followed by New York, Berlin, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Research from the City of London Corporation found that “agile” working — typically with flexible hours and shared desks — is fast becoming the norm in the UK capital.

London-based Hubble, for instance, runs a matching service for companies seeking small spaces on short-term, flexible contacts with firms looking to sublet.

What has prompted the growth of flexible and co-working? One clue is that more than one-quarter of flexible office tenants are tech companies, mostly start-ups, DTZ says.

 “Co-working is ideal for start-ups and small companies because it offers a cost-effective workspace model and is a great way to expand your network of professional contacts, access invaluable advice and raise the profile of your business” .

Yet it is not just small, entrepreneurial businesses taking co-working mainstream. Large corporations too are increasingly opting for flexible working spaces.


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