The future of offices points to Flex Spaces

The future of offices points to Flex Spaces
MIPIM Meetup Madrid, December 2023

Madrid has hosted a new edition of the Meridiana MIPIM Meetup. The event, organised by Meridiana and Spain at MIPIM at the Hogan Lovells offices, brought together renowned experts from the sector to discuss opportunities and trends in Flex Spaces and offices of the future.

Emilio Gómez, Real Estate Partner at Hogan Lovells, opened the event by emphasising the relevance of MIPIM in the dynamics of the real estate sector: "Until MIPIM, the agenda goes at one pace and after MIPIM it accelerates".

José Antonio Pérez, director of the Real State Business School, highlighted the importance of adapting workspaces to changing needs, including areas for leisure and socialising.

Transforming the work environment: "Exploring opportunities and trends in the flex spaces and offices of the future".

The roundtable addressed issues such as adaptability, technology, collaborative environments, corporate culture and quality of life for employees in offices. It was led by panelists of great relevance in the sector. The moderator was Julián Salcedo, president of the Foro de Economistas Inmobiliarios del Colegio de Economistas de Madrid and the speakers were: Juan M. Ortega, Investment Director of Colonial; Álvaro Travesedo, Investment Director and Head of Multi-Strategy at Azora; Philippe Jimenez, Country Manager Spain and Vice President Sales Southern Europe at IWG; Sandra Daza, Managing Director of Gesvalt.

The moderator began by refuting the last words of José Antonio Perez: "Offices to work, to live and to play in". Julián Salcedo worked in the 1990s at Mapfre, a pioneering company in adapting spaces to the well-being of its workers with gyms and nurseries, but he considers that there are limits: "To me, this does not seem to create a productive environment, no matter how friendly it is", said Julián on the subject of games in the office.

"In 2022 it has reached 2.6 billion euros, 
2.6 billion, which represents 19% of non-residential 
and this is a figure that will continue to grow".

The office sector is one of the sectors that has evolved the most and the fastest. Sandra Daza wanted to point out: "In 2022 it has reached 2,600 million euros, which represents 19% of non-residential investment and is a figure that will not stop growing". This is due to the fact that both investors and tenants are interested in flexible spaces because they are more liquid assets and, therefore, of greater value. As for sustainability, he referred to the fact that before Covid, this issue was ranked fifth in the ranking of 'megatrends'. In 2023 it is the first, so Daza stressed its importance: "Sustainability is already at the heart of any investor, but it is also beginning to be so for office tenants".

For his part, Juan M. Ortega emphasised the flexibility of spaces and the importance of access to offices, highlighting the need to create a healthy and collaborative environment.

Álvaro Travesedo expressed his focus on the impact of the pandemic on the coworking sector and the evolution of the market, pointing out a trend towards more flexible and liquid spaces. 

IWG's Philippe Jimenez shared their strategy of expanding outside of major cities, emphasising productivity outside of the traditional office environment. In addition, Jimenez ended with an encouraging fact for the hybrid or coworking sector: "70% of CFOs support this type of work because of massive cuts in the bottom line", a fact that Sandra Daza agrees with.

César Badorrey, from the Community of Madrid, highlighted the role of MIPIM in the internationalisation of Madrid and in attracting investment, mentioning the 'Suelo 4.0' portal and the synergy between the public and private sectors.

Albert Castro, representative of MIPIM in the Iberian Peninsula, and Guillem Codina from Meridiana, discussed the importance of internationalisation and the collaboration between the public and private sector to attract investment.

The day concluded with a networking session, where attendees exchanged views on the topics discussed.

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