Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Flexible office sector grows significantly as businesses return to Dublin city centre

The latest research from Savills has shown huge demand for office space in Dublin.

FOR THOSE IN Dublin city centre, you should expect a noticeable jump in foot traffic during office hours.

New research has shown that more and more businesses are flocking back to the heart of Dublin. Companies in the tech and financial services sectors in particular are leading the way as businesses adjust to life post-Covid. 

Whilst remote working is still here to stay, many businesses are continuing to adapt by obtaining flexible office space. These flexible contracts are ideal for the new way of working, providing a host of advantages compared to previous models of long-term office space renting.

Savills Review

The Savills Review 2023 examined trends in the flexible office space, which could be key to businesses returning to Dublin city. 

“The flexible office sector, where occupiers can obtain shorter-term fully serviced accommodation, has witnessed significant growth in 2022, with several international and indigenous Irish providers expanding,” said Kim Hogan of Workthere, which is the serviced office brokerage and subsidiary of property advisor Savills.

 Average daily occupancy levels in flex space stand at 81% in comparison to conventional office occupancy levels, which are much lower, albeit increasing month-on-month. In times of uncertainty, companies tend to avoid long-term commitments and high capital expenditure in favour of more stabilised short-term commitments, sometimes at higher rents.” 

43 Fitzwilliam Place 43 Fitzwilliam Place, a Pembr location.

More than 100,000 square feet of recently opened serviced office buildings landed on the market in 2022, and that figure is expected to double in 2023.


One major player in the flexible market space is Pembr, formerly known as Pembroke Hall. Founded in 2007, Pembr has provided flexible, serviced offices for many international companies, including Shein, Expedia, Visa, Click Up, Toast, Shutterstock, Wayflyer, Temu, Rippling, Qualtrics and Munich-Re. The company has expanded its operations by 35% post-Covid.

pembroke-hallfennell-photography-2023 Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography Inside Ballast House, one of Pembr's flexible offices. Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography / Fennell Photography

“Prior to 2018, we had 18 Georgian buildings, with office space leased by 100 companies,” said Pembr co-founder Bob Manson. 

Then, we saw a changing profile of our client base; our technology and professional services clients particularly experienced success and sought modern office spaces with increased floor plans.”

“As they had experienced the benefits around employee productivity and cost efficiencies that flexible and serviced office space provided them, they wanted to stay within that model. 

Our growth strategy has been very focused and led by our client’s demand. We have expanded into modern office spaces with our clients, and as a result, our brand needed to evolve. We feel Pembr better represents who we are today.”

Pembr recently acquired buildings on St Stephens Green, Wicklow Street, Dame Lane and Baggot Street in Dublin 2, adding to its high-spec portfolio in the area. These acquisitions match other trends in the flexible office sector. For the last four quarters, 80% of deals have taken place in the city centre. 

It helps businesses by offering flexible contracts and high spec offices in prime locations, such as Dublin 2. Pembr is a great option for businesses looking to relocate to the heart of town with flexible contracts, fixed monthly costs and state-of-the-art technology across its locations.

“Since 2022 the landscape has notably changed regarding what clients require,” said Pembr co-founder Thomas Lenehan, referring to the current commercial landscape.

A more flexible serviced option has replaced the days of long, expensive leases. Businesses, especially start-ups within the current economic climate, need a financially stable office partner. They require office partners that can facilitate a plug-and-play option allowing their business to grow, less the burden of expensive, lengthy and unnecessary leases.”

Learn more about Pembr’s high-tech flexible office spaces here.