Coworking: A Safe Bet in Uncertain Times
So how can one anticipate these changes ahead of time and make smart investments that will set themselves up for success, regardless of uncertain prospects ahead? The answer is to diversify and ensure some of your investments are in industries that are currently, and will remain, profitable even if the economy takes a downturn.
Take the flexible workspace and coworking industry for example, which has seen rapid expansion in the last few years, and is set to grow up to 30% annually over the next five, according to JLL. We are already seeing a major shift in how companies utilize the flexible workspace model to attract and retain employees. In the event of a market downturn, these companies and employees are even more likely to consider flexible workspace options with shorter-term lease obligations as a more appealing strategy vs. purchasing expensive office buildings or signing long-term leases. In fact, over 50% of the workforce is projected to be remote (at least part of the time) by 2020.
That’s why coworking giant International Workplace Group (IWG) has recently doubled down on the franchising model in the U.S. with their Regus brand, which will allow prospects to grow quickly and take advantage of the changing tide. The operating model is proven, demonstrably successful and opportunities for growth are significant in not only major markets across the country such as New York City and San Francisco, but secondary and tertiary markets as well, especially with brands, such as Regus, that are globally renowned and therefore benefit from good brand equity. In fact, franchising in general can be a strong investment opportunity during an economic crisis, as most established concepts possess strong brand power, awareness, a built-in and successful business model, and buy-in from the general population. During times of economic hardships, it is not unusual for the masses to invest their time and money into concepts that are known to be tried and true. In fact, Regus created the flexible workspace concept and has remained the industry’s global leader since its inception 30 years ago, despite economic turbulence.
For more information on Regus franchise opportunities, please call 833-IWG-FRAN or visit https://franchise.iwgplc.com/.
Darin Harris is CEO of Regus, North America, where he leads the development and expansion of IWG across its companies, including Regus, Spaces, HQ and Signature by Regus, playing a key role in developing IWG’s franchise offering.