Coworking especially draws in people from IT, both freelancers and employees. And flexible offices are also of growing importance for companies that have just entered the Czech market, says Jana Gerhátová, manager of the Czech branch of Business Link, a working space provider.
Last fall, Business Link—situated in the Visionary building in Prague’s Holešovice district—celebrated one full year on the Czech market. Alongside four branches in Poland, it offers its users a total of 3,500 seats within more than 20,000 square meters.
“We are seeing an interest from companies that are just now entering the Czech market. Alongside newly founded companies, I am mainly thinking here of those that are expanding from abroad. Flexible offices give them an easier way to enter the local market,” says Jana Gerhátová from Business Link Visionary.
How is Business Link Visionary doing in terms of occupancy after one year? How much of its space has been rented?
Looking back on last year, we saw significant tenancy growth for our flexible offices from among both companies and individuals. Although I can’t provide specific numbers, we have fulfilled the plans we set at the start of 2019 and can thus continue developing Business Link Visionary’s Prague activities.
How much has been rented out to freelancers, how much to small businesses, and how much to large corporations?
Only 4% of Business Link Visionary’s customers are individuals. This is one proof of the fact that we are not an ordinary coworking space. In the last months we have been oriented more towards offering flexible spaces to medium and large enterprises. We are seeing significantly rising demand in this segment. The employees of medium and large companies currently make up one half of all our users.
Are the companies that come to you all from a particular field, or do they span the whole spectrum?
If we’re talking about corporate customers, you can find teams from companies of all sizes in our spaces. This is partly a result of our new subscriptions, which are very flexible and offer a solution both for startups with just a few employees and for groups of employees from multinationals.
This type of working spaces is most popular among workers from IT, whose share in the last few months has grown by 48%, and who currently represent about one half of our customers. Other significant fields represented at Visionary include finance (11%) and business (8%).
FLEXIBLE = POPULAR
Business Link Visionary first opened its doors in autumn of 2018. Have its offices’ interiors changed since then?
No; the spaces have not seen any significant changes. During our preparations, we worked from our experience with projects in Poland, with which our clients have long been satisfied. Our premium design works just as well in Holešovice, and our internal surveys inform us that 76% of our users are satisfied with it.
Visionary’s hallmark is the running track on its roof. How are your customers making use of it?
Our track is used not just by the clients of our flexible offices, but also by workers from throughout the building. Some of them just stroll upon it and enjoy the nice views of Prague, to clear their heads and sort their thoughts amid a hectic workday. Others use it for sports, and one of our clients has run dozens of kilometers on this track. One key thing for our more athletic souls is that we have complete infrastructure including showers, so there’s nothing to hold them back from high performance.
Business Link has four branches in Polish cities and one in Prague. Do the Czech and Polish coworking markets differ in anything?
They are geographically and culturally close, and so the differences are not at all large. The main one lies in how developed the flexible-office markets are in the two countries. This market represents 3.6% of all office spaces in Warsaw, while it is a mere 1.2% in Prague. We are confident, however, that flexible offices will become just as popular in the Czech Republic as they are in Poland. Our capital, above all, definitely has the prerequisites.