Flexibility in real estate: are flex working and flex living the future?

With all its nuances, the global real estate market reflects common characteristics observed in different geographies and evolutionary trends driven by innovation, environmental concerns, demographic changes, economic policies, and technology. These are some of the main points at the heart of the transformations we have observed in this sector.


The real estate sector has undergone significant changes in Portugal in recent decades, giving it dynamism. In this dynamic scenario, we have seen the growth in demand for shared and mixed-use spaces, which create more vibrant and sustainable communities. It is precisely this topic, focusing on flex living and flex working spaces from the user’s point of view, that we will focus on in this article.


Flexibility in the real estate sector


Flexibility in real estate refers to adapting and responding to market changes, customer demand and emerging trends. This term, which today has a prominent place in the sector, can cover various aspects, from pricing policy and payment conditions, regulations, and the use of technology to the diversification of products and services offered.

Projects focusing on innovative design, space flexibility for various types of use, energy efficiency and compliance with environmental goals will be at the top of the market’s priorities.

It is known that long-term success and sustainability in the real estate sector are related to its ability to adapt to new demand demands and to show openness to new models and practices. Flexibility will, therefore, be crucial to guarantee the value of assets in the medium to long term.


Flex working and flex living: new ways of working and living


The idea of sharing spaces is revolutionizing the way people live and work and, consequently, transforming the real estate market, which seeks to offer flexible and innovative solutions, promoting communities and creative solutions to the demands of contemporary life, especially in centres of urban. These sharing spaces also allow us to respond to those looking for a more connected, meaningful life with a sense of belonging.


Flex working – a phenomenon in the job market


The way new generations conceive of work is causing changes in routines and spaces, and this change is of interest to companies and players in the real estate sector.

Flex working, based on concepts such as flex office, coworking, private offices integrated into common/shared spaces, and business lounges, among others, offer more than a desk and internet: these spaces are a flexible and economical alternative to traditional offices, as well as often providing modern amenities. Furthermore, they provide interaction between companies and people that become hubs for innovation, networking and collaboration, boosting the success of the professionals who use them.

Flex working - Flexibilidade

With the explosion of remote work or the hybrid model, shared workspaces have multiplied, especially in large cities, and they have also responded to another essential factor when choosing the office(s) for the company: location! Employees and companies increasingly seek suitable locations for minimal travel and spaces that provide well-being and appeal.

Currently, flexibility and location are, without a doubt, two fundamental factors. In this sense, briefly referencing another trend for the coming years: the allocation of offices in residential neighbourhoods, enabling employees to travel to the work environment quickly. We know that one of the biggest problems in many cities is traffic, so this change in office location can become a facilitator for many people and a booster for the local/neighbourhood economy.


Flex living – a trend that will transform the real estate sector


While flex working redefines the work environment, flex living, or flex staying, transforms how people inhabit spaces. Inspired by the idea of community, these living spaces offer a modern and economical alternative to the traditional rental model.

The concept of flex living, where a furnished apartment is rented, with great flexibility in contract terms, includes assets of:

  • Coliving is based on an experience of housing and, consequently, a shared life, even with people who do not know each other. They live in the same house/apartment and may or may not share private spaces, such as a bedroom and bathroom. In turn, they share common spaces like laundry, coworking, social rooms, and garden.
  • Cohousing consists of collaborative housing, where each member or family has their own private house or apartment, with all the necessary comforts and services, but shares common spaces and resources within the community, such as outdoor areas, gardens and leisure or service areas.
  • Corporate housing is a lease for corporate purposes and an apartment with standard and high-quality services. Intended for short-term occupancy (3 days to a month), with specific services and extras already included in the price, it presents itself as an excellent alternative to a hotel.


This way of living allows great adaptability to cities while promoting a sense of belonging to a group and contributing to financial savings, as costs are also shared. Lease contracts can be shorter (three months, six months, depending on need), there is no constant concern when looking for services (cleaning services, communications, gym) as they are offered in advance by the entity managing the space, and there is no commitment like the one made when buying a house or traditional renting.

This concept is ideal for digital nomads and those who want to stay in a city for a few months or are just looking for a space to live in a community. Young adults and people after retirement age seek these solutions.


Concepts such as flex working and flex living show us that flexibility in the real estate sector is essential to keep up with the dynamism of the market, driven by new ways of living and working, marked by a new, more disruptive generation, open to new concepts and guided by human will intrinsic community.
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