Adam Zvada, CEO of Scott.Weber Workspace in Prague talked to Property Forum about the trends driving the flex workspace market and provided some insight into the company's expansion plans.
Scott.Weber Workspace already operates ten centres in Prague that are quite different in terms of location and building type. What are the key pillars of your overall location strategy? Are your decisions driven by market availability, client demand or something else?
Choosing the right location is crucial to the services we offer. In our business, location, location and more location are critical success factors. As a leader in the flexible workplace market, we also target companies looking for premium space, service and community, so location is even more important to us than it is to providers with a single coworking centre or those who run these services in their own buildings.
Another key aspect of our success is to create a legible DNA of our environment that works for our clients, where we are not just trying to create and sell a community in a pulsating social hub, but are more focused on promoting client satisfaction and productivity.
Do you plan to further expand your footprint in Prague? If so, where are you looking around the most now and why?
Interest in shared office centres continues to grow and Scott.Weber operates an entire real estate division that is constantly seeking and evaluating opportunities for growth. We have a really ambitious expansion plan to grow by a further 15,000 sqm over the next 18 months, which we are working hard on. Our newest centre is located in the Blox building in Dejvice, just a short distance from the airport, and has already been designed with the new normal of office environments in mind, i.e., new requirements for functionality, layout and design, where the 450 sqm shared space of the centre aims to support communication, innovation and the development of our members.
Do you plan to bring your brand to other Czech cities or other countries in Europe?
The concept of the shared offices and coworking will surely enter other regional cities as well, there are already local companies operating their first centres there. Scott.Weber will enter the regions at the right time.
Which industries do your tenants come from and what size are they? Have you observed any significant shifts in this respect since the start of the pandemic?
The pandemic has clearly changed the demand for shared offices. We knew that if we wanted to continue to be successful and interesting to potential clients, we had to change our concept to match people's willingness and interest in coming to work in the new normal because the function of the office had fundamentally changed. It has also changed its meaning; it is now much more about meeting and collaborating. We are therefore focusing even more on the 3 main pillars of collaboration, concentration and inspiration. We want to create a substantial benefit for the client over working in a home office, we want to give them what they don't get at home - peace and privacy to concentrate, an environment and equipment that ensures efficient and productive work, a community to collaborate and inspire.
There are tons of predictions for the post-Covid office market and most co-working operators expect a boom in demand for flex offices. naturally. What are your projections?
The current forecasts show a clear fact, the demand for traditional offices is falling sharply and the demand for flexible working environments is growing. Scott.Weber is now, as I mentioned, working on further expansion. By the end of 2023, we will operate 40,000 sqm of premium offices offering products and services for companies of all sizes, which include the entire portfolio - from the flexible workspace and dedicated coworking space, private offices, larger office suites to private floors custom-designed for large companies with their own branding. Employees of our clients also appreciate the possibility of working from a coworking space or from a serviced office located closer to their home thanks to our network of 10 centres in attractive Prague locations with excellent transport accessibility.
Which countries or cities do you look at for inspiration for your business?
We get inspiration from providers all over the world. But equally important is to be in communication with the customers themselves, who inspire our product and service offerings. However, we must not forget the differences in working cultures and customer requirements in different countries, which is why we must always be guided by the motto "Think globally. Act locally". What I find most fulfilling is that the concept of a flexible working environment is no longer a defined commodity on the market, but is still in a phase of evolution and development.
Have you ever tried working in one of the centres of a competitor? What insights did you take away from it?
Knowing your competitors' product is absolutely crucial, for us as an industry leader it is a fundamental prerequisite for being able to be competitive and successful in the future. I have personally been to all the major competitors in Prague, I have visited a number of centres abroad in Europe and the USA.
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