Jeddah witnesses increased demand for flexible workspace solutions

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Supporting the city’s dynamic business environment, employees in Jeddah are turning to co-working spaces, hotels, and retail outlets as office alternatives, highlighted JLL during its Future of Work exclusive roundtable.

In the first quarter of this year, the total existing office stock in Jeddah stood at approximately 1.2 million sq. m. with an additional 61,000 sq. m. scheduled to enter the market over the remainder of this year, whereas Jeddah’s retail stock increased to 1.8 million sq. m. with 478,000 sq. m. of retail floorspace scheduled for this year. This reflects new opportunities for businesses seeking modern and innovative workspaces in the city.

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The event witnessed experts and thought leaders from global real estate consultancy firm JLL, who shared valuable insights on emerging workplace trends and its profound impact on the Kingdom’s real estate sector. The roundtable enabled attendees to explore the escalating adoption of flexible work models, the integration of advanced workplace technologies, and the rising importance of sustainability in corporate real estate. Furthermore, the crucial role of creating exceptional ‘people experiences’ within organizations and work environments was also emphasized.

Speaking at the roundtable, Saud Alsulaimani, Country Head, KSA at JLL, said: “Corporate Real Estate is at a critical decision point, where strategies implemented now and over the next few years will determine the path to long-term success. It is clear that hybrid is here to stay; it is a permanent feature in the working landscape. While the office will continue to remain central and paramount to the hybrid model, co-working spaces and retail outlets are gaining popularity in line with Vision 2030, which focuses on the importance of providing an innovative and comfortable environment that encourages the workforce's productivity and creativity.”

With the rise of smart homes and green open spaces, a paradigm shift in the way we work in the coming years can be expected. The demand for sustainable workplaces will become more critical in the future. The Kingdom's focus on renewable energy and sustainable development aligns with this global trend.

During the event, Susan Amawi, Head of Strategic Consulting, KSA at JLL, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the impact of changing work dynamics, which revealed:

• 36 percent employees not only work from their homes, but also from third-party locations such as co-working spaces, hotels and retail outlets.

• A higher spend on food and beverage, groceries and home goods and a decline in spend on formal clothing.

• More time spent working from hotels and other hospitality venues such as beach clubs, member clubs and golf clubs.

In the global commercial real estate arena, the focus on quality office spaces and the implementation of ESG solutions has become extremely important. Companies are increasingly building greener portfolios that align with the Kingdom’s sustainable development goals, which supports Vision 2030.

With Saudi Arabia's growing reputation as a hub for startups and multinational corporations, the Future of Work event in Jeddah offered a unique platform to gain insights into the evolving landscape of real estate, sustainability, and people experience with the insights and discussions generated to play a crucial role in driving innovation and propelling businesses forward.

Additional speakers include Aida Saleh, Head of Sustainability Consulting, MEA, JLL; and Dima Najib-Costa, Co-Head People Experience, MEA, JLL.

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