Spaces is the most recognizable brand on Poland's flexible office space market. Adam Lis - an Expert in terms of flex workspace at JLL, interviews Rafał Gabteni, IWG Sales Director in Poland regarding Spaces offices and the advantages of the IWG group as well as prospects for the company's further development.
Adam Lis: What distinguishes Spaces from the market and its competitors?
Rafał Gabteni: Spaces entered the Polish market at the end of last year. We started from the best possible location in the capital - the junction of Świętokrzyska and Marszałkowska Streets, where the Sezam shopping centre was formerly located. Today, a state-of-the-art, A+ class office building has been developed in its place, delighting people with its architecture both during the day and at night. Both lines of the Warsaw underground are located underneath the building, and inside there are numerous shops and service outlets, while on its roof – you can find green terraces from which you can admire the view of the city centre. So we started by setting the bar high with a high “c”. What distinguishes Spaces from the competition, however, is the free access our members have to more than 3,000 IWG offices located in 120 countries.
Adam Lis: What can Spaces offer tenants?
Rafał Gabteni: Spaces' offices offer a unique atmosphere where everyone can feel at home. This philosophy is best illustrated by our slogan: Feel like you're at home. Oops! We meant feel like you're at work. We also organize numerous events for our clients. The networking space in an original design is one of the most characteristic features of our brand.
Spaces Marszałkowska, Warsaw
Adam Lis: What type of client is your offer targeted at?
Rafał Gabteni: Although our offer is dedicated to creative and demanding people, visionaries, startups, entrepreneurs, it is also aimed at corporate employees. It is difficult to create one profile of a typical user of coworking services. Regardless of whether they are from the manufacturing, service or artistic sector, I am convinced that everyone will be able to find a suitable place for themselves. Our design team made sure that Spaces fulfills all the most important functions of a modern office and has separated various spaces: dedicated for work, meetings, relaxation, as well as communal amenities. Another feature of the Spaces brand is a cafe located in the office, with professional baristas preparing and serving coffee. This is a luxury that only global corporations, such as Deloitte in Warsaw's Q22 building have so far been able to afford. Therefore, proponents for traditional offices as well as those for working on projects in cafes can feel good in Spaces. So even if a large customer, whose demand for work places will cover an entire floor or even several storeys, wishes to use our services, it's not a problem for us.
Adam Lis: Are you afraid of the competition that is now starting to appear on the Polish market?
Rafał Gabteni: The coworking industry is growing rapidly in Poland and worldwide. IT solutions for business, remote working, dynamic business environment, need to attract and retain talents in the companies – all this and many other factors speed up the growth of flexible workspaces. Obviously, we are not alone on this market and appreciate the overall growth of the market in Poland which tells about the growing demand for flexible working. What gives us an unquestionable advantage is the impressive number of locations around the world and our extensive, thirty-year experience as the leader in this industry. This gives customers a sense of stability and security, which is particularly important in conducting business. Because Spaces is part of the International Workplace Group (IWG), its members can enjoy all the privileges offered by the group, including global access to all brands from the IWG portfolio including Regus. Because IWG has over 3,000 locations across 120 countries, it's difficult for other companies in our sector to compete with us.
Regus Fabryka Józefa Balle, Łódź
Adam Lis: What are your perspectives and forecasts for the development of the market of serviced and coworking offices in both Warsaw and Poland?
Rafał Gabteni: Poland, with its economic growth that has been around 4% for some time now, is one of the fastest developing countries in Europe. Thanks to subsidies from the EU, our infrastructure is significantly improving, new jobs are being created while public buildings, roads and communication networks are further developed. The opening of borders to other EU Member States has fostered exchanges of experience and the emergence of new markets. These economic conditions mean that many international companies as well as start-ups have become interested in establishing or expanding their presence in our country. Therefore, unemployment is decreasing and the demand for jobs, including coworking jobs, is growing. It is no secret that Warsaw, as the capital of the country, attracts a significant portion of the sector's business. But we receive enquiries about office space from various Polish cities, so we are considering different directions for further development and expansion in the country.
Adam Lis: So what are the plans for the brand's development in Poland?
Rafał Gabteni: We already have three Spaces offices at the moment in Poland: Spaces Platinium in Warsaw and the aforementioned Spaces Marszałkowska, and Spaces Wroclavia opened in Wrocław at the beginning of October. Furthermore, we plan to open another office at the beginning of 2020, located in the Card Factory in Kraków. We prefer not to reveal our plans for further expansion, but we can assure you that it will be extensive, and we will by no means limit our activities to the capital city.
Spaces Platinium, Warsaw
Adam Lis: Thank you for the interview. I will closely follow the expansion of Spaces across Poland.