Demand for flexible workspace in India is estimated to jump five times by 2025 to 130-140 million sq ft, accounting for one-third of global co-working inventory, according to a report by property consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W).

The global real estate consultant released its report 'Redefining future workplaces” at Workplace Trend Conclave held here on Friday.

"The phenomenon of co-working has been the proverbial storm in the teacup for commercial real estate in India," the report said.

India is one of the largest flexible workplace markets in the world, the NYSE-listed consultant said.

"The rise of millennials has led to the existence of a strong start-up and entrepreneurial culture. They need a workplace that inspires innovation and ideas, offers flexibility in terms of timings and location, while being integrated with technology for communication and collaboration," said Anshul Jain, Country Head & Managing Director-India, C&W.

The consultant has estimated the global flexible workspace inventory at about 125 million sq ft, of which nearly 27 million sq ft is located in India.

There are 1,000 operational co-working centres, with a capacity of over 4 lakh seats, across top six cities -- Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.

The number of flexible space operators has risen from single digits to about 350 over the last 3-4 years.

"Flex space is likely to grow to 130-140 million sq ft by 2025, with India accounting for nearly one third of the global co-working inventory," the report said.

The number of operational co-working centres will more than double over the next five years, it added. C&W estimated user base of flexible workspaces to jump 10 times to nearly 3 million by 2025.

At present, 65-70 per cent of demand for co-working spaces comes from large corporates, 15-20 per cent from small & medium enterprises and 10-15 per cent from freelancers and startups.

"As the trend gains momentum, there are now tangible changes to occupier portfolios and growth strategies, workplace design trends and above all the emergence of using space as a service and not a commodity anymore," the report said.

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm, with 48,000 employees in about 400 offices and 70 countries. In 2017, the firm had revenue of USD 6.9 billion. PTI MJH

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