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Co-Working Spaces and their Impact on Commercial Real Estate

What impact do co-working spaces have on commercial real estate?

In the last decade, there has been an exponential increase in the number of co-working spaces which can be largely attributed to a combination of technological advancements and shifts in economic and cultural developments. This trend is expected to continue in 2024, posing challenges to the traditional office leasing models in the commercial real estate sector.

The fixed structure of traditional commercial leases, characterised by long-term commitments, limited flexibility and stringent terms, may need to be adapted to accommodate the changing dynamics of the modern workforce.

Traditionally, commercial leases feature lengthy term agreements, considerable rent deposits, the need to provide a guarantor and in addition, adherence to onerous tenant covenants. While these terms have previously provided stability for landlords, offering financial security and ensuring tenant commitment, they may prove to be less attractive to the emerging businesses that are increasingly gravitating towards co-working spaces.

Why do co-working spaces appeal to businesses? 

Co-working spaces offer several features that appeal to the evolving needs of businesses. These include:

  1. Collaborative Layouts – the open and collaborative layout of co-working spaces fosters interaction and innovation, creating an environment that is conducive to modern work practices.
  2. Scalability – the ability to scale up or down quickly in co-working spaces aligns with the dynamic nature of emerging business, providing flexibility in adapting to changing team sizes.
  3. Shorter term leases – co-working spaces typically offer short lease durations with break rights, making it easier for businesses to adjust their office requirements to market fluctuations.
  4. Lower overhead costs and initial capital investment – co-working spaces often involve lower overhead costs and require minimal capital investment compared to setting up and maintaining traditional office spaces.
  5. Flexibility – the inherent flexibility in co-working arrangements is attractive to businesses that value agility and the ability to respond swiftly to market demands.

What should landlords consider when looking at co-working space leases?

Given these factors, landlords in the commercial real estate sector may need to reconsider the traditional lease structures to remain competitive in the evolving market.

Some potential considerations for landlords now include:

  1. Flexible lease terms – offering more flexible lease terms, including shorter durations and options for development can make commercial properties more appealing to a wider range of tenants.
  2. Incorporating co-working elements – introducing co-working elements within traditional office spaces, such as flexible workstations, can make properties more attractive to businesses seeking a dynamic work environment.
  3. Updating security measures – while maintaining financial security for landlords, exploring alternative forms of tenant guarantees or security deposits that align with the short term and flexible nature of co-working arrangements.
  4. Emphasising tenant experience – enhancing the overall tenant experience through amenities, services and community building efforts can make traditional office spaces more competitive with co-working offerings.

There is no doubt that the commercial real estate sector faces the challenge of adapting to the changing nature of work and business. Landlords who proactively consider and adjust their leasing models to align with the preferences of modern business may find greater success in attracting and retaining tenants in 2024.

How can Morr & Co help your business?

These are just some points to think about regarding co-working spaces. If you have questions regarding any of the points mentioned in this blog, please contact Tanuja Sellahewa or another member of the Commercial Property team at Morr & Co.

For an initial discussion, get in touch with us today by calling 01737 854500 or by emailing [email protected] and a member of our expert team will get back to you.


Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.

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