Jim Hutchison on taking advantage of coworking solutions in the era of hybrid work
Flexible workspace solutions are key to many hedge fund managers and others in 2023. Since the pandemic began, flexible workspace solutions such as coworking plans, virtual offices and serviced offices have become a prominent fixture in many corporate business portfolios. Now as we approach the end of the pandemic, flexible working is seemingly here to stay in the mainstream as a strategic means of scaling up and down business rapidly in reaction to the market forces. Jim Hutchison, the Regional Head for Coworking and Virtual Offices at Hedge Funds Club partner The Executive Centre, elaborates on the opportunity that corporate coworking solutions present for hedge fund managers, financial corporations and MNCs in 2023 and beyond.
What impact have you seen the pandemic having on business models and have you seen an uptake in coworking members due to it?
Each region has responded to the pandemic slightly differently, depending on their government strategy towards COVID, the local social-work culture and the strength of their native infrastructure and connectivity. On the whole, what has been observed is a lasting shift in the way businesses interact and think about space – be it the workspaces, the environment they provide their workforce or the costs associated with leasing office space. After a couple of years of working from home or adopting a hybrid working style, employees have become adjusted to this way of working. Many employees see having this flexibility and choice as a major benefit to their work. Employers are responding by providing flexible work options as a core part of their strategies to attract and retain talent. During the last three years, we’ve seen a significant increase in our global memberships for our coworking plans, serviced offices and virtual offices. For instance, at the end of 2019, we ended the year with 26,000 members, but today we are up 41,000 members and have since grown our centres to over 170+ locations across APAC and the Middle East.
How can financial businesses utilise The Executive Centre’s flexible workspace solutions?
The finance industry has always strongly aligned with our premium flexible workspaces. In fact, we accommodate some of the largest financial businesses in our region. Previously, this was exclusively in our private offices, but more recently, as flexibility has become a higher priority, our coworking solution has become more appealing to them. Through private consultation we can offer customised corporate coworking plans that can be bulk purchased, transferable, unlock international access and more. This means that our coworking plans can be an easy way to enrich existing corporate real estate portfolios without having additional fixed real estate and capital commitments. All our centres are in the heart of core financial districts and exude luxury and professionalism, and the top reason businesses, including MNCs, financial corporations, tech companies and law firms, trust us for over 28 years.
What would you say to businesses that are looking for a change in their workplace model but are on the fence about coworking spaces?
Many traditional workplaces have become stale since COVID, as half of the staff aren’t in the office or are in the office but want to work flexibly. Thus, the traditional office now lacks energy and a community atmosphere. Getting dressed up for the long commute, just to sit in an empty office isn’t very appealing to most. With a TEC coworking space, we attract people from a mixture of businesses and environments, importantly we put special emphasis on building a community and putting on professional networking and industry outlook events to ensure there’s always activity and buzz to be found in our spaces. For businesses looking to bring back their teams to the office but needing to scale back their real estate, we can tailor a solution to suit their requirements. We’ve had some larger businesses split their workforce between our private offices and coworking. This works well when a core team wants to return to the office five days a week and others want to keep the flexibility. Any overflow from the office can use the coworking space. Businesses that have an international presence or fly frequently to meet clients across financial hubs like Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong will likely want to try our Global coworking passes or create a corporate coworking solution which unlocks international access. Our centres are premium by design to ensure our members access the highest level of infrastructure, connectivity and service no matter where they work. This means that with The Executive Centre, individual hedge fund managers, sales teammates and human resource teammates can be guaranteed a presentable, well-equipped and impressive workspace.
The Executive Centre is proud to partner with the Hedge Funds Club to offer its members an opportunity to thrive professionally, supported by our exceptional spaces, and the collective expertise of a global network.