The global co-working trend of the past few years which disrupted the traditional office space is itself already being disrupted by the growing demand for a shared workspace that is more like a luxury five-star hotel.


Linda Trim, Director at FutureSpace, a high-end work, shared workspace joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap, said that co-working spaces have tended to be utilitarian ‘rows of bros’ hunched over laptops in bland cubicles, pausing every so often to play ping-pong creating a noisy, bustling atmosphere.


“But that is changing because there is a rapidly growing demand for shared workspaces that are tranquil, beautifully designed and more like five-star hotels in their look and services levels.


“These are the kinds of places that attract blue-chip companies, executives,  independent consultants, start-ups and those simply wanting a premium service with concierges on hand to help you really get your head down and achieve your work goals.


“The focus really is on helping you be extremely productive.”


Trim said that FutureSpace was developed by taking the established co-working model and making it better by offering every service a worker could want from the moment they arrive.


“In particular the depth and sophistication of technology services offered by premium shared workspaces is increasingly a distinguishing factor as this is often not available in basic co-working offices. Very high speed, reliable wifi and instant video conferencing facilities, in particular, are in great demand.”


The tech factor is prevalent in other ways too: People can quickly book desks, private offices, meeting rooms, summon tea and coffee, or enlist some on-site tech help to ensure everything is working when it needs to be.


“Everything is on-demand and available only when you need it,“ Trim noted. “This kind of Airbnb and Uber-style flexibility is also one of the biggest drivers of premium shared office space. Ask and a concierge will bring you lunch or book a call with New York straight away so you can get the most out of your working day.”


Trim added that another differentiator was that driving the demand for premium shared offices was the number of quality, knowledge sharing educational events and networking with people from different companies and countries.


“Having an opportunity to meeting and mix with people doing great and interesting things is an invaluable experience for business people,” Trim noted. FutureSpace recently held a stock market trading masterclass and will also hold an inspirational talk by a sexual violence survivor for Women’s Day.


The flexibility of having a well-designed office available ready when you are at a lower cost than a more traditional office is proving popular. FutureSpace recently opened its third office in Bryanston to complement its existing offices in Rivonia Road and Katherine Street in Sandton such is the demand.


More offices are planned.


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