Demand for flexible co-working space on the up

Demand for flexible co-working space is set to soar, with 71 per cent of SMEs predicting this to be a top business priority, research finds.

More than two fifths (42 per cent) of small company owners rate having a flexible and adaptable space where they can grow as more important than location, according to a survey by solicitor network QualitySolicitors.

Additionally, almost a fifth (18 per cent) of respondents say it’s important to be able to interact and collaborate on ideas with other businesses in their premises, with 39 per cent looking for a workspace with networking opportunities.

It’s not just the space that needs to be flexible however; over half (54 per cent) want flexible, short-term lets when negotiating their lease and 53 per cent would demand a break clause to prevent them from being tied down if the space is no longer practical.

The study also indicates SME growth could be hindered as a result of the complex conveyancing process. Almost half (47 per cent) admit they have been put-off or stopped looking for a new premises as a result of the cost and time associated with moving premises, with 30 per cent pinpointing the process of finding the right kind of space and location as being the most challenging aspect for them.

Michael Sandys, commercial property conveyancing expert at QualitySolicitors says that the traditional, one size-fits-all approach to commercial property conveyancing is no longer valid.

‘SMEs now want a different kind of workspace, which offers flexible space and networking opportunities to boost efficiencies and maximise the space. They don’t want to be tied down, so we’re seeing more and more businesses demanding shorter, less restrictive leases to give them the freedom to move around if they need to,’ he adds. 

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