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Traditional serviced office operators are facing challenges from new operators, both local and International, who offer a blend of serviced office and coworking space, together with a number of smaller, pure coworking, spaces run by local entrepreneurs. With this increased competition, traditional serviced office operators are reviewing their growth strategies and product offerings to ensure they remain competitive. The emergence of this new brand of flexible workspace was initially fueled by the exponential growth of tech start-ups, which is now one of the factors driving MNCs to use such spaces - enabling access to talent, community and alignment with innovation strategies employed by start-ups. More recently, MNCs are considering flexible workspace for mid-office functions that have no synergy with the start-up scene. In challenging economic times, banks, insurance firms and others are looking to reposition their real estate portfolio and exit some traditional leases; instead developing relationships with flexible workspace operators to allow themselves access to shorter lease terms and office space by the desk rather than the sq. ft., enabling real estate costs to be managed directly alongside headcount - in turn preventing overexposure to real estate costs during times of economic and political uncertainty. This session will explore how MNCs are utilising flexible workspace as part of their portfolio and what benefits it brings them, as well as some of the potential pitfalls. It will include an overview of the APAC market, setting out the context for the rise of the contingent workforce and large scale increase in the use of flexible workspace by MNCs as well as SMEs in APAC.
Keywords: Shanghai2017, 2017 Shanghai Summit, flexible workspace, coworking