5 things we learnt at the FlexSA Conference 2024

FlexSA Conference 2024

Setting up camp in a new location, the Flexible Space Association conference 2024 gathered the great and good from the sector for a unique blend of discussion, knowledge sharing and a healthy dose of networking. As always, technologywithin were on the ground, meeting and greeting and finding out the key topics from the FlexSA conference 2024 that we’re delighted to share in this blog.

How operators can utilise AI

Dan Drogman, CEO of Smart Spaces began the presentations with a look at how AI will affect the CRE sector and what it will mean for flexible workspace. The key benefits for operators will be in how they utilise the data generated by their clients. Currently vast amounts of this data is generated, be it energy usage, occupancy or access control data, without the resource to properly analyse and interrogate it. AI is perfectly placed to fulfil this role allowing operators to achieve cost savings through improving efficiencies within their buildings.

An invited interlopers perspective

Offering an outsiders view of the flexible workspace industry, Dougal Shaw, BBC Business reporter showed how the sector was a common theme in a number of his reports. He highlighted three factors that have influenced the way we work; The infrastructure revolution allowing us to work from anywhere; The focus on personalisation with users wanting to curate their own spaces and experiences; and the rise of hustle culture with entrepreneurship going mainstream helping to drive the need for workspace. The reports gave a fascinating insight into how the industry has developed and included an interview with Patch.Work, who were present at the conference.

ESG makes commercial sense

Bringing together representatives from Clockwise, Workspace Group, Hope Park Workspaces and DeskLodge, the subject of ESG was the main focus in the after lunch panel. Operators are now recognising the fact that ESG is not a choice anymore, it’s a commercial necessity. The panel were able to highlight examples of investors asking for information on environmental and social impacts to help them inform their investment decisions and how 80% of clients rank sustainability as one of the key factors in choosing workspace. It was also discussed how, when recruiting, candidates were evaluating ESG credentials as part of their decision to apply for roles with flexspace operators. As Michelle Johnson of Hope Park Workspaces said about ESG “It’s the right thing to do”.

Finding the right tech partner is key

The challenges of getting the right tech solution for your workspace were highlighted in a panel featuring Wizu Workspace, Uncommon, OfficeRnD and Opstech. The panel discussed how tricky it can be to justify moving to new tech platforms to investors and owners who have already seen investment in existing software. The panel discussed just how important it is for operators to really think about what’s important for them when it comes to CRM platforms. Tom Almas of Wizu Workspace said that any investment decision they make is based around how the new platforms should achieve at least one of two aims – help to win new business or help to retain existing business.

The flex market is resilient

The final presentation of the day took a look at the UK flexible workspace market, current trends and what the future might look like, courtesy of John Williams and James Rankin from the Instant Group. Key talking points were that although there was talk of a reduction in demand, a number of regions were showing strong growth. This was highlighted in some stats showing flexspace capacity in a number of areas. Commuter towns were shown as having less capacity while some larger regional cities had several years worth of capacity. The overall message was that the industry has been stress tested like no other over the past decade and has remained strong and resilient. The key for the future is more collaboration within the industry to help it remain strong.

If you’d like to discuss more on these topics from the FlexSA conference 2024, get in touch with our friendly team for a chat.


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