Like many countries around the world, Turkey has seen a rapid growth in demand for flexible workspace. As the benefits of employing a more agile team have become apparent, an increasing number of companies are choosing alternatives to the traditional office. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, that interest has surged.
Istanbul-based Ofis.work has been working with IWG for two years, providing its mostly small business clients with flexible spaces around the country. Co-founder Ertan Solak says the needs of its customers – who are from a wide range of sectors, from human resources to e-commerce – are dramatically different now compared with 12 months ago.
“All kinds of businesses have felt the effects of COVID-19 and have realised that their work can still function without going to the office every day,” he explains. “As a result, big companies are starting to downsize their offices and work in alternative ways. They prefer to work in small groups in multiple locations rather than one single large office. Meanwhile, many small business owners prefer a smaller office close to their homes.”
He adds that the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy has also meant that many startups are reluctant to invest in a permanent office, which can often be expensive to set up. Indeed, flexible offices enable companies to use the workspace more efficiently by allowing staff to employ it as and when they need it, helping to save on overheads.
The Regus difference
In an IWG survey from 2019, three-quarters of respondents (79%) said that a flexible workspace has played a role in their company’s success, while 65% of businesses say a flexible workspace reduces capital expenditures and operating expenses, helps manage risk and consolidates their portfolio.
According to Solak, Regus is the most popular IWG brand among those Ofis.work works with. For landlords, its reputation for excellence and reliability means long-term contracts are renewed, while for Ofis.work’s clients its prestige as a global brand gives them the confidence to invest. This is no surprise, given that IWG is the world’s leading supplier of workspaces, with a network of offices, coworking areas and meeting rooms covering thousands of locations in more than 1,000 cities and more than 120 countries, serving 2.5 million members every month.
Ofis.work, which is ranked first among Regus’s brokers in terms of contract renewal and quantity in the last year, chose to partner with IWG for that very reason. Its prestigious presence in the global market means it can be trusted and relied upon.
Solak says he always feels supported by IWG and, if there is ever a problem, it is quickly resolved. “It’s more than just a partnership, though,” he says. “It feels as if we’re genuinely working together as a team.”
The most important element of the relationship is trust, he adds, thanking IWG’s excellent human resources team for building such a successful relationship.
So, where next for the commercial real estate market in Turkey over the next 12 months? Solak expects businesses to continue re-evaluating the role of costly city centre offices and embrace the so-called ‘hub-and-spoke’ model. This is where companies keep their headquarters but operate multiple regional offices or coworking spaces.
“We expect an increase in demand for flexible workspaces, rather than traditional offices,” he says. “We believe the existing office stock is large enough to meet the demand for many years.”