Nairobi warming up to shared office spaces one square feet at a time

Nairobi warming up to shared office spaces one square feet at a time

Patrick Awori, the Chief Executive Officer to the Circle Savings Fintech ditched the conventional office two years ago for a shared one and has not turned back since.

Describing his company as a small remotely working boutique team, Mr. Awori counts convenience in his transition to the serviced co-working centres noting his little spend of time at the office.

“Before, we had an office, it was tedious. As a closed environment, we couldn’t really interact. Currently, we record some added value to our business from our interaction with people from other fields and cultures,” he said.

The attraction of shared office spaces around the City has been mirrored largely by the sprouting up of the new office concept in and around the Central Business District.

Players in the space including the Nairobi Garage have continued to scale the concept opening up its third hub in February this year.

Meanwhile, global leader in the shared office space Regus has continued its penetration of the domestic niche market having opened its tenth location in Upper Hill earlier this week.

Regus Country Manager for East and Southern Africa Heidi Duvenage attributes the growth of the virtual office spaces to their comparative offering over traditional offices.

“If you want to be competitive in attracting top talent, flexible work becomes a huge advantage,” Ms. Duvenage told Citizen Digital in an interview.

“It’s now not just a space for start-ups anymore. The benefit matter to all irrespective of size as there is no capital expenditure (CAPEX) on company balance sheet to set-up and maintenance costs”

According to the firm’s disclosures, Nairobi makes for the company’s best performing node in the region with occupancy rates having surged above 80 percent in 2019 from the low sixties last year.

Shared office spaces are described as co-working facilities and provide employees with shared equipment, space and services including communal copiers, internet and shared lounges.

According to data from the Knight Frank real estate market update for the first half of 2019 the niche market is expected to continue recording growth over the next few years buoyed by new shared workspaces entrants and increased demand.

“Interest is due to the flexibility that comes with serviced offices in comparison to traditional offices. Serviced offices allow organisations to have flexible lease agreements and office space, lower operating costs and the opportunity of being located in a prime address,” noted the report.

Nevertheless, the new office concept is expected to run-up to headwinds including internal competition and the pent-up glut from the oversupply of office spaces in the country.

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