IWG: The Future of Flexible Working
Australia has always been an early adopter of flexible working culture and, in recent years, the flexible workspace market has been booming. In 2019, the Australian Co-working Market Report found a 41 per cent year-on-year increase in the supply of flexible workspaces.
Fast forward to late 2020, and the introduction of flexible work as a part of corporate businesses real estate strategy is skyrocketing. People want the comfort, safety and personal productivity benefits of living and working how and where they want.
COVID-19 is literally changing the landscape of work.
Business Franchise spoke with Mark Bhardwaj, Head of Partnership Growth, Australia/New Zealand and Damien Sheehan, Country Head, Australia, of IWG Group—a global leader in flexible workspaces and coworking—about expanding further in the Australian market and the future of work as we know it.
Business Franchise: COVID-19 has forced businesses all over the world to rethink the way they work. How is IWG leading this workspace revolution?
IWG: IWG has provided solutions for over 30 years in delivering the best real estate solutions for businesses and individuals. With the shift in focus from the traditional HQ office model to a more balance / suitability approach, the need to work from home or close to home has never been more prevalent. As such, occupancy in our suburban / regional locations has increased significantly in the current environment. We believe this trend will continue as companies rethink the traditional HQ space.
BF: What service does IWG provide?
IWG: We have a number of products and services available for our customers; from private offices and co-working options to virtual office and membership options—all designed to be risk-free and have a zero balance sheet impact, so our customers are free to focus on their core business.
BF: What does a typical flexible workspace look like and what does it offer that makes it more appealing than, say, working from home?
IWG: All our spaces are designed for productivity and come with everything included, whether it’s industry-leading technology, a professional reception service or quality food and drink. From our core brands—Regus and HQ—to our more premium brands—Spaces and Signature—we have a solution for all our customers’ needs.
BF: Who is a typical customer of the flexible workspace?
IWG: From individuals to SMEs and large enterprises, we cater to all and have the products and services available to meet the customer’s needs. No two customers are the same and the ability to pick and choose options for your business needs is what makes IWG the global leader in flexible workspace and co-working.
BF: What type of person would ‘fit’ your franchisee profile?
IWG: We are looking for entrepreneurial customer-oriented partners to join the IWG franchisee program to capitalise on the increased demand for flexible workspaces and coworking within a given territory. The program is open to individuals / companies alike, with the ability to open multi centres over a predetermined timeframe.
BF: How do you look after your franchisees? (e.g., what support, training or resources do you offer?)
IWG: We provide several supporting functions to assist our partners grow their business, all designed to be a plug-in approach for simplicity. Key support functions provided include:
- design of centre layout
- professional support with recruitment and training for your team
- access to marketing collateral
- website / app set-up and search engine optimisation for your location
- lead generation
- IT&T global customer support
- back office support billing, invoicing and cash collection
- inventory management administration
- office service agreements and auto-renewal functionality.
BF: What’s your focus for the year ahead?
IWG: We will continue to focus on expansion in the Australian market, particularly in suburban and regional areas. These are key locations in our national expansion plans as the demand for flex workspaces and coworking in these areas’ skyrocket.
IWG has more than 30 years’ experience launching and running flexible spaces all over the world—with 3,300+ locations globally in 110+ countries and an array of established flexible office and coworking brands under its belt to match the different demographics and business needs of its customers.
IWG currently operates in 77 locations in Australia, adding two new locations to its portfolio in the first half of 2020 with the opening of Spaces Riparian Plaza in Brisbane and Spaces 60 Martin Place in Sydney. In early November, IWG is adding a third location to its portfolio with Spaces Two Melbourne Quarter set to open.
Find out more at www.iwgplc.com.