According to a report by idealista, the trend for flexible offices is here to stay in the post-pandemic. This is one of the conclusions to be drawn from a study carried out by Savills, together with Workthere, which estimates that a fifth (20%) of the office stock in Europe should become flexible over the next 10 years. Lisbon is, moreover, one of the cities in the spotlight, occupying 3rd place in the table of most active markets in terms of demand for flex offices.

According to the Savills, the demand for flexible office spaces in Europe reached 193,000 square meters (m2) in the first half of 2022, in line with the levels recorded in the complete years of 2020 and 2021.

“Amsterdam, Paris CBD and Lisbon have been the most active markets over the last 18 months. Demand for flexible offices accounted for 5% of global occupancy in all European cities during the first half of 2022, against 3% during the pandemic, and remains on a gradual recovery path, up to the 8-9% observed before the pandemic”, says Savills in a statement.

Cited in the note, Ed Bouterse, Head of Workthere Europe, says that “the recovery of the flexible office space segment has been more visible due to the increase in occupancy levels”.

“Occupancy rates have returned to pre-pandemic levels, recording a value above 80% in private offices and more than 65% in shared spaces”, he adds.

Growing demand in Lisbon

“(…) Economic uncertainty will drive demand for more flexible rental models, as well as a shift in the quality of amenities, with an ever-increasing range of work models supporting a greater demand for space designated as flexible. Along with the increase in cost and also in the space fit-out period, we predict that the occupancy of flexible offices will represent 5% of the occupancy of European offices in 2023, 6% in 2024, and will be responsible for 20% of the office stock long term,” comments Mike Barnes, Associate Director, Savills European Research.

Frederico Leitão de Sousa, Head of Corporate Solutions Savills Portugal, points out that “between 2021 and the first half of 2022, flexible spaces were responsible for approximately 8% of the take-up volume in the Lisbon market”.

“The capital continues to be a destination that has felt a growing demand for flexible spaces, essentially derived from international companies that want to establish themselves in the market in very short timings, looking for plug & play spaces, but also for the attraction of digital nomads”.