South Africa: Why co-working? IWG plc – Regus and Spaces

Prepared exclusively for CIPN

Co-working spaces have grown in popularity over the last few years, and it is no surprise that many companies are now exploring the option of moving their business into the hub of a dynamic co-working environment. But what exactly is co-working? Typically, co-working allows entrepreneurial-spirited companies, teams and individuals the freedom to work in a collaborative environment.

  1. Why is demand for flexible workspace increasing in South Africa? There are three principle reasons why more people are using flexible workspaces:
  • Digitalisation and new technologies
  • Better connectivity means everyone is connected digitally
  • People are more mobile and can access their work from anywhere
  • Artificial intelligence, automation and cloud technologies are changing the nature of work
  • People want the benefits of flexible working
  • Geographic benefits – the choice of where and how to work and live
  • A better work-life balance, ie easier access to good workspace either close to home or close to where like-minded individuals are
  • Businesses want the financial and strategic benefits
  • Financial benefits:
  • Outsourcing of corporate real estate is replacing insourcing to create a more flexible on-demand model for businesses resulting in lower start-up costs
  • Strategic benefits:
  • Increased speed to market
  • Increased productivity
  • Collaborative communities and networking
  • Attract and retain talent
  1. What are the latest trends in terms of co-working?

Demand is accelerating:

  • Up to 30% of corporate real estate portfolios could be flexible workspace by 20301

Note: The commercial real estate market is currently worth about $29 trillion2

  • The flexible workspace industry itself is projected to tally a nearly 24% compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 20203
  • Over the past decade the global market for flexible offices has been growing at an average of 13% per annum4

Business benefits:

71% of occupiers believe that productive and flexible workspaces are vital to delivering corporate real estate objectives, up from 57% in 2016

  • 84% believe flexible workspace disruption is a permanent trend4
  • The global mobile workforce is set to rise to 1,87 billion people in 2022, accounting for 42,5% of the global workforce5


  • 80% of the world’s adult population will own a smartphone by 20206
  • Over 50% of internet traffic could come from internet of things sensors by 20257
  • Public cloud services spending will increase by 20,4% CAGR between 2015 to 20208
  • Global data centre IP traffic per year will be 10,4 zettabytes in 2019, up from 3,4 in 20149
  • 4G connections will represent 61% of the total by 2020 (up from 34% in 2016)
  • 5G connections will represent 31% of the total by 2025

Personal productivity:

  • 69% of millennials will trade other work package benefits for better workspace10
  • 53% of professionals globally now work remotely for at least half their working week11
  • 64% believe flexible work hours improve productivity. 94% feel strict work hours do nothing to aid it12
  • Location-independent work has increased 103% since 200513
  1. What does the space have to offer?


  • Work how, where and when you require
  • Join a global community of 2,5 million like-minded professionals, access to networking knowledge sharing events
  • Find, manage and book workspace instantly, with easy-to-use apps


  • Benefit from national and global networks, with an unparalleled choice of ready-to-use office, co-working and meeting spaces
  • Access business-leading, cloud-based and secure IT infrastructure, support and backup, Including high-speed internet, IP telephony, and on-demand solutions


  • Pay only for the space you need, a dedicated account manager and 24/7 customer service
  • Add or reduce workspace when you need to, without capital investment
  • Protect your investment with world-class infrastructure, physical and digital security, and back-office support from a proven global leader


  • Operate anywhere in the world. Scale up and down quickly, and with ease. Be closer to your customers, suppliers and employees
  • Access national and global networks as you require
  • Attract, retain and engage employees
  • Members have access to our business clubs around the world
  1. Who is it designed for?

Corporates looking to establish a local office without massive capital outlay, start-ups, SMMEs, freelancers, remote working teams, international workers, project teams and well-established corporates, business travellers, call centres and entrepreneurs.


  1. JLL research
  2. Savills Research
  3. Forbes 2017 (quoting Emergent Research)
  4. CBRE research, ‘The Flexible Revolution’, 2017
  5. Strategy Analytics
  6. Workspace, Reworked, JLL, 2017
  7. Workspace, Reworked, JLL, 2017
  8. Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, IDC, 2016
  9. Cisco Global Cloud Index, 2014-2019
  10. The Flexible Revolution. Insights into European flexible office markets, CBRE, 2017
  11. The Workplace Revolution – a picture of flexible working 2017, Regus, 2017 – independent research
  12. Protein Audience Briefing 2016
  13. Global Workplace Analytics 2017 Location Independent – The Modern Way of Working



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