As IWG places new dots on the map, hybrid work opportunities continue to grow outside major cities.
IWG workspaces again open on four continents this month, with expansion focused both on building presence in existing locations and launching in new territory.
In the US, new spaces are coming to no fewer than twelve locations: Edmond (OK), Canton (OH), Englewood (CO), Lenexa (KS), Lawrence (KS), Santa Ana (CA), Warrendale (PA), Sherbrooke (ND), Bangor (ME), Denton (TX), Middleton (WI) and Shelby (NC). The latter two are noteworthy for having populations of under 25,000 people, demonstrating the spread of the specialist flexspace movement to ever smaller locations, and reflecting demand beyond big cities and their immediate suburbs.
Heading East, flexspaces have arrived in new locations across three Asian countries in July and August, including Hwaseong in South Korea, Cagayan de Oro, Las Pinas and Olongapo City in the Philippines and Chattisgarh Magneto Mall in India.
Middelburgh in South Africa and Grand Bay Central in Mauritius fly the flag for new flexspace in Africa, while Kidderminster in the UK and Brest in France represent new locations in Europe.
Despite the vast spread of these locations and the diverse selection of towns and cities, there is a common theme at play…
Hybrid is here
Workspaces continue to proliferate in smaller towns and cities as hybrid work enables people to live and work outside of major hubs. It’s a trend with the potential to revitalise smaller cities and suburbs, and the stats are showing movement to these areas in a big way.
Indeed, since 2020, outbound migration from major US cities to smaller communities has increased by a staggering 59%. And now, close to half a million further city-dwellers in the US are projected to leave urban areas for the suburbs, smaller cities and rural regions – most of them in search of larger homes and a better work-life balance.
There’s research to back up the idea that such a move can lead to better quality of life for workers. A phenomenal 88% of UK workers say that flexible working arrangements are essential for a more fulfilling professional life that delivers improvements in their mental, physical, financial and social health. What’s more, hybrid workers are getting 71 extra hours of sleep a year, the equivalent of three whole days more sleep.
They’re also better able to exercise, prepare nutritious meals and spend time with friends and family – with the result that they’re less stressed, and around 3-4% more productive at work.
While the spread of hybrid is great news for businesses and employers alike, it’s also presenting an ever-expanding market for building owners and landlords. Importantly, the trend towards smaller locations means you no longer need to own property in major cities to capitalise on the hybrid work market.
This presents an exciting opportunity for investors and the corporate real estate sector to diversify their portfolios and offer flexible work solutions in the suburbs as well as cities. The current trends around movement of people suggests this opportunity will only continue to grow, and the arrival of the IWG flexspaces in brand new locations across the world indicates the rising demand.
If you’re curious about hybrid working and IWG’s unparalleled network of flexspaces, you can find out more here. With the corporate real estate opportunity around hybrid continuing to grow, you can learn more about developing a location with us too. For brokers, partnering with IWG means you can offer clients a flexible solution no matter where they are in the world, so get in touch if you want to increase your chances of making a sale.