Coworking surges in popularity in South Korea’s Capital

Coworking surges in popularity in South Korea’s Capital

updated August 30, 2018
Coworking surges in popularity in South Korea’s Capital

Flexible office space in Seoul has seen rapid expansion, with coworking leading the change according to CBRE Korea’s latest report.

The past three years have seen the rapid growth of flexible office space in Seoul. In 2016 the volume of occupied space surged by more than 350% y-o-y, primarily due to the entry of several major foreign coworking operators. The rise of the new economy and contingent labour is also contributing to the increased usage of coworking spaces.

The research report identified that over 90% of coworking spaces are located within core locations, reflecting their strong preference for prime areas.

Rising demand for coworking spaces has seen its growth expand beyond the main business districts. In 2015, coworking centres were exclusively located in the GBD. However, subsequent years saw many operators expand their footprint to the CBD and YBD. 58% of serviced offices are located within the three major business districts indicating a considerable presence in secondary locations.

Claire Choi, Head of Research, CBRE Korea, told WILLIAMS MEDIA, “The growth of flexible office space, especially coworking centres, in Seoul is being driven by fundamental shifts in technology, the economy and corporate behaviour. These have permanently disrupted the way many businesses and industries operate and resulted in a structural change to how businesses approach their real estate decisions.
“Initially driven by the start-up boom, demand for greater variety among both employees and corporates, advances in technology allowing people to work anywhere at any time, and the growth has been given added impetus from large corporations attracted by the freedom flexible office space offers around lease terms and size, as well as the opportunities it creates for collaboration and innovation,” she said.

“We’re expecting the emergence of coworking centres specializing in certain industries such as culture and art, architecture, IT and law. Coworking centres are also likely to be located in other property types such as malls, high-street retail and hotels.”

The rise of coworking centres in particular, marks the beginning of an important new phase for the Seoul office market. According to the CBRE Research APAC Occupier Survey 2017, nearly half of respondents said they plan to use the coworking office in the next three years and this demand is likely to continue to increase in the future.