Demand for flexible workspace has grown greatly over the past decade and is growth is expected to reach unprecedented levels as companies rethink workplace portfolios and adapt to a mobile workforce.
To meet the growing demand, IWG PLC, a flexible workspace provider, is ramping up its global franchise program, providing an opportunity for franchisees to enter the fast-growing industry.
“When the pandemic hit, we saw a shift to employees working from home,” said IWG’s CEO for The Americas, Wayne Berger. “But working from home has presented challenges for many people and, as a result, demand for flexible office space has grown exponentially, particularly in locations on the outskirts of major cities.”
A CBRE report shows Canada’s flexible office space market expanded by 303 per cent in five years, with companies’ total space growing from 139,555 m2 (1.5 million sf) in 2014 to more than 566,709 m2 (6.1 million sf) in 2019. Real estate services firm JLL has forecasted flex space will make up around 30 percent of office space by 2030 from its current position at just under five percent.
“We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Berger. “This is an opportunity to join the industry at a tipping point with rapid growth forecasted over the course of the next decade.”
Franchise partners should have a minimum net worth of C$3 million and a minimum of C$1 million in liquid assets per location. The initial investment ranges from C$750,000 to C$1.9 million per location with a C$50,000 franchise fee per location.
According to IWG’s press release, franchisees will receive extensive training and support to create a framework to find the right location and design and also ensure they are able to grow their market footprint backed by the company’s operational and marketing support.
“With more than 30 years of experience and a well-established infrastructure of 3500 locations globally, we believe franchising will help us scale our vision of having 50,000 flexible work centres globally in every town and city,” said Berger.
IWG experienced a record start to 2021, adding half a million users to its network.