The flexible working phenomenon is upon us, giving employees and entrepreneurs the chance to work in a way that better suits their lifestyle and needs. In fact, it’s been growing in popularity in the 21st century, shaping the modern workplace -arguably- for the better. Flexible working is now a more recognised concept, with 77 per cent of employees working in organisations that provide some kind of flexible working, according to The Flex Factor report. So it’s no surprise office space is changing to accommodate for that.
So, what exactly are flexible office spaces?
Essentially they are shared spaces or ‘flexispace’ that has all the basic equipment and infrastructure needed. They have always been popular with start-ups and SME’s due to the flexibility, however, more and more blue-chips are seeing the benefits of flexible spaces. Flexible offices were initially set up so that an employee who usually worked from home or remotely – or has to drive long distances to the company’s main office – can instead work externally for a few hours or days, every week or month. Ideal right?! In fact, Flexible Office space operators have taken the largest amount of sq ft space in London over the last 12-18 months to deal with the demand. It’s going off a storm, and not only improving employee retention within bigger businesses, but proving the ideal and solution for smaller businesses too.
A few of the benefits?…
- Flexible office spaces allow remote working employees to mix up their working week. Instead of being glued to a desk in one place, they have the option to work elsewhere: commuting to the main offices only when necessary. This helps with employee satisfaction, motivation and actually increases efficiency.
- Often flexible working spaces will have different employees from different businesses sharing the same building and in some cases the same office. This can be beneficial, fostering collaborative workplaces and mutually beneficial working relationships with others. No better way to create referrals, right?!
- As mentioned above- flexible office spaces are usually fully equipped premises, giving business owners access to everything they or their employees need, without the logistical and organisational nightmare. It’s fairly hassle free and also provides flexibility in terms of contracts, because unlike standard office renting- flexible spaces don’t have the long-term commitment with set durations or terms. Instead, you can hire the space on a month-by-month basis, with the option to extend for up to two years: depending on how it’s going and what you’re looking for. They can also grow as your company grows, which means they provide peace of mind when you need to downsize. This unique flexibility can allow you to keep control of the costs, which leads us onto the final benefit…
- Another major selling point is the cost-saving. Flexible offices generally have reduced overheads, because most providers include all of the expenses in one fixed monthly fee. Pretty neat, huh? This makes things easier to manage in terms of budgets, proving incredibly effective.
Now it’s important to remember- flexible offices aren’t for everyone. It is still a relatively new concept and success may depend on the nature of the business, the company culture, management set up and of course: the employee themselves. Some employees need greater management, can feel a little disconnected from the business and may struggle to stay disciplined, focused and of course- not get distracted! The way to make it work for big companies? Well-structured arrangements, clearly clarified expectations, strong communication and regular targets/ tasks/ goals to work towards.
If flexible working is part of your company culture or potentially suitable for the stage your business is in, flexible office spaces work hand-in-hand to provide the ideal solution.
Will they take over traditional offices? We don’t think so, not entirely…
But they are becoming evermore popular- and with good reason! A number of traditional landlords are now also including flexible workspace within their offering, as they understand that some clients’ businesses are seasonal and may have larger teams for short periods when working on specific projects.
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