In the ever-evolving landscape of work culture, the concept of “flex” has become more than just a buzzword—it’s a fundamental shift shaping the way we think about the workplace. For two decades, our team’s journey alongside a pioneering flex space provider has illuminated the transformative power of flexibility in a world where remote and hybrid work are no longer mere experiments but essential strategies for success.

20 Years of Partnership

Twenty years ago, our team (now in its third year at Colliers) began a partnership with the largest flex space provider globally, without knowing the seismic impact it would have on our business, our industry, or more broadly the future of work.

As the pandemic accelerated the adoption of hybrid work models, our longstanding client, although already deeply entrenched in the flex space industry, found itself thrust into the spotlight. Suddenly, what was once considered a convenient alternative to traditional office leasing became the cornerstone of business continuity for organizations worldwide.

Embracing Flexibility

The benefits of hybrid and flex work are manifold. For enterprises, it means cost reduction by trimming traditional leases and footprints. For employees, it means working locally, reducing commute times, and improving work-life balance. This shift has led to a surge in demand for flex spaces within communities, enabling employees to work closer to home while still having access to professional environments.

What also sets hybrid work apart is its role-based flexibility, acknowledging that certain tasks demand a physical presence while others thrive in remote environments. Moreover, studies have shown that happier, more comfortable employees are also more productive. By providing spaces that cater to diverse needs and preferences, flex space operators contribute to both employee satisfaction and enterprise success.

As we witness a flight to quality in workplace environments, it’s clear that the future of work lies in flexibility and adaptability. Employers are reimagining workspaces, favoring amenity-rich, collaborative environments in suburban areas over traditional CBD locations. This shift not only accommodates employees’ desires to avoid long commutes but also taps into talent pools in previously untapped markets.

Navigating Change and Guiding Clients Through Complexity

But this evolution isn’t just about adapting to change—it’s about anticipating it. By understanding the industry landscape and embracing concepts like retail-like “flex” location strategies, we position ourselves as advisors equipped to help our clients navigate the complexities of hybrid work environments.

Our “flex space” partnerships along with collaboration with our Colliers enterprise workplace consultants has been instrumental in developing for our clients tailored solutions that empower organizations to embrace this flexibility, whether through customizable office configurations, multi-location deployment, advanced technology infrastructure, or innovative remote collaboration processes and tools.

Looking ahead, the legacy of flex space operators will continue to shape the future of work, driving innovation, collaboration, and productivity in a rapidly changing landscape. As we embark on the next phase of this journey, one thing remains certain: the only constant in the world of work is change, and those who embrace it will thrive in the evolving hybrid work ecosystem.