Coworking spaces expanding in Czechia as demand for new offices stagnates

The pandemic showed many companies that large offices are not needed, and coworking spaces might be more effective.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 08.02.2022 16:30:00 (updated on 08.02.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Shared office spaces were once a refuge for freelancers and creatives, but due to Covid, most employers shifted to a work-at-home model making freelancers of us all. As the pandemic subsides, a growing number of companies have realized that maintaining an extensive office complex isn't the only way to get work done.

Metro.cz is reporting that the demand for new office space in Prague is currently low, with some companies giving up their offices entirely and moving to co-working spaces or drastically reducing what they already use. Raiffeisenbank, for example, recently cut back to nine floors instead of 10 in an office building in Pankrác.

“We have experienced even large corporate companies are moving toward coworking,” Lenka Hrudíková, who is in charge of coworking at real estate service firm CBRE, recently told Metro.cz. “Even large companies have completely abolished permanent office space and are going hard into coworking,” Hrudíková added.

Experts say the shift toward reduced office spaces and coworking has been brought about by uncertainty in the wake of Covid. Companies can't predict how many workers will be needed in the future and, at the same time, many workers when given the option choose to work remotely. When in-person meetings are required, coworking spaces can provide rooms of varying sizes.

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

Short-term shared workspaces may make better financial sense for company owners than entering into a long-term lease, but they also appeal to employees who are tired of working from home and see a shared desk at a coworking space as a reprieve.

Major players in the coworking market are betting that the shift in the way people work started by the pandemic will become a long-term reality. Not only Prague but other cities in the Czech Republic are expected to follow along in a worldwide trend which predicts that the global market for shared working will grow by 12 percent a year this year and next, in terms of gross income for operators.

By 2021, many of the large coworking space providers reported being near capacity. Impact Hub, which was present in Prague, Brno, and Ostrava in 2021 reported being 95 percent full. WorkLounge, which has three Prague locations was 80 percent full, and Scott.Weber Workspace reported being near capacity at its eight current Prague locations. But the market isn't yet saturated.

Scott.Weber Workspace will offer 3,800 square meters of shared office space, enough for 450 people, in the new Port 7 center in Holešovice. It will open in the second quarter of 2023. Before that, 2,550 square meters will open in the Blox building in Prague 6 in April 2022. The company already has space in eight Prague locations, including the Flow Building on Wenceslas Square.

Many of the Czech Republic's coworking spaces were originally offices, former industrial spaces, or even large flats that have been repurposed. Now the trend is to custom build these spaces from the ground up so they're more suited to the specifics of shared workspaces.

Impact Hub has just opened a seven-story building called Silo II in Zlín in Moravia, completely dedicated to coworking.

“It arose from the foundation stone. It has specifics that older buildings cannot always offer, and these are a great emphasis on technology and sustainability,” Impact Hub marketing director Martina Kočařová told E15.

The City of Prague is also getting in on the new trend. A planned public library in Petřiny in Prague 6 will have small study rooms suitable for coworking. The construction of the building has just been approved by City Hall, and it should open in the fall of 2023.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more