Workspace firm IWG unveils Spaces OpenDesk model

Sarah Stowe

Global workspace business IWG will unveil four Spaces OpenDesk office locations in 2021.

The new sites are planned for Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and will provide a smaller, more flexible offering than the classic serviced 50-office business.

The new concept can slot into just 300 or 500sqm, an ideal footprint for retail, mixed use and high density developments.

With sites costing about 40 per cent less than a traditional multi-office model, the new format is expected to appeal to franchise investors with a keen eye for value.

Typical franchisees will be investors looking for a long term future and the opportunity to develop between three and seven locations.

The first deal has been done from Cairns to Sunshine Coast, and investors in more regional areas are expected to see the brand’s potential for growth.

Mark Bhardwaj, IWG’s head of partnership growth – Australia/New Zealand, said the new locations suit the new hybrid working habits of post-Covid.

“Enquiries are from big business with hybrid workers, most ASX companies are embracing the new model. The head office is now reduced, you still need it, but not for the same functions.”

The model is focused on memberships, virtual offices and co-working.

“Offices are still available to lease but the inventory is less compared to our main offering,” he said.

Introducing Spaces Napa Valley, CA, USA from Spaces. on Vimeo.

The goal is to launch an Australian outlet over the winter months, following the concept location developed in California’s Nappa Valley.

“We saw the writing on the wall earlier than some, we have now seen a bounce back. In the first five months we have grown, the second half of the year we will be back to pre-Covid levels,” said Mark Bhardwaj.