Real Estate

Inflation and hybrid work ‘skyrocketed’ demand for flexible workspace, WeWork says

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Global inflationary pressures are pushing companies to be “more nimble” with their corporate real estate portfolios, according to WeWork.

“That … has put the need for companies to look at flexibility in managing and thinking about their workspace,” said Samit Chopra, the coworking company’s international president and COO.

“Which is of course, guided by a revolution in the entire work culture and the hybrid work phenomenon that has taken place over the last few months.”

Speaking to CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday, Chopra said that as companies try to bring at-home employees back into the workspace, they are focused on building engagement and a “collaborative culture.”

“That has therefore resulted in many companies, large and small, enterprise clients, freelancers, start-ups … to look at the flexible space sector and companies such as WeWork much more favorably than we saw in the last, say, three years ago,” he added.

“What that has done … is it has skyrocketed the demand for flexible workspace for us across the world.

Last month, WeWork reported revenue growth of 37% from a year ago to $815 million for its second quarter. Its quarterly net loss also shrank 31% from a year ago to $635 million.

The enterprise segment, made up of large Fortune 500 and 100 companies, represent a big portion of WeWork’s global business, said Chopra.

“Last year, the enterprise segment represented more than 45% of our global business. That part of our business has grown significantly over the last 2½, 3 years.”

Singapore ‘a major market’

On Tuesday, WeWork launched its Asia flagship asset in Singapore – leasing a 21-story prime office building.

Chopra said this underscores WeWork’s belief in Singapore as “an established global economic hub.”

Its location is also well-positioned to attract large enterprise clients, small businesses and freelancers, he added.

“Singapore is … a major market for us in the Asia region and Asia as a region is a big part of our global business.”