Organizations are thinking twice before committing to a long-term office lease in the current climate, so flexible workspaces are increasingly attractive to relocate teams as employees emerge from lockdown.
As business leaders cautiously unbolt their doors after lockdown, blinking to adjust to a new reality, it’s becoming clear that office spaces offering safety, agility, and value are highly desirable in these uncertain times. There is a strong argument for embracing flexible workspaces. So let’s talk about flex workspace.
What is flexible workspace?
It is also known as shared office space. This type of office space is fitted with basic equipment, like phone lines, desks, and chairs. Flexible offices offer your business all the facilities and services of a modern office without the investment. Open, flexible, activity-based spaces are displacing cubicles, making people more visible.
Collaborations, innovation and creativity
Talking to like-minded employees and sharing your ideas is bound to spark creativity and increases the potential of collaboration projects and makes it easier for employees to communicate. The research found that employees from different teams are nine times more likely to interact if they sit on the same floor. The economic aspect is also of vital importance since the design of modern office furniture allows for easy rearrangement as well as adjustment to individual needs.
Flexible workspaces promote the idea as work as fun and provide inspirational environments that help boost productivity and morale. The spaces are often modern, trendy and progressive and help to promote creativity.
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Flex space saves your money
Paying for enough lease space for every employee to have their own furnished and equipped cubicle or office is a huge cost, especially for companies starting out. Shared workspaces generally include utilities in their rent, and workers get the chance to network while employers enjoy flexible lease terms. As many flexible working spaces are serviced, you don’t have to worry about organizing internet connectivity, electricity, booking a cleaner or even hiring a receptionist.
Easier implementation of social distancing
Larger companies can choose to move essential onsite staff into a flexible workspace while letting others work remotely from home. Temperature monitoring, hand sanitiser and access control takes place at the entrance.
While home working has benefits, numerous studies show it affects both physical and mental health. Little wonder a recent survey published by Office Space in Town (OSiT), providers of serviced offices in London, Cardiff, Northampton, and Edinburgh, discovered that just 5 percent of employees want to work remotely on a full-time basis.
Flex space is critical for survival
“Respondents cited the inability to unplug, loneliness and distractions as major pitfalls of home working,” says the organization.
Indeed, statistics released exclusively for this Future of Work report, reveal that 97 percent of 14,000 members of leading flex-space provider The Office Group (TOG) believe they will require an office as the coronavirus pandemic subsides. Furthermore, the new research, carried out in partnership with Leesman, indicates almost half the respondents (46 percent) feel disconnected from colleagues during home working, while 38 percent feel disconnected from their organization.
“Despite many hailing the pandemic as the death of the office, I believe we’re seeing its evolution from a rigid concept to one of fluidity,” they add. “More than 40 percent of our inquiries during lockdown have come from companies that are currently in traditional offices, which just aren’t set up to offer the space density or layout required to meet safety measures and create a comfortable work setting in this new era.”
Flexible workspace offers businesses the ability to be nimbler as they recover from the financial strains of the pandemic and gradually bring back furloughed staff, as well as the capability to flex space up and down to cater to social-distancing requirements. And having flexible access to ‘burst space’ outside their current real-estate commitments is invaluable.
In addition to helping rehouse teams and assisting with overflow, flex spaces can attract and retain both talent and clients. The shared services provided by flexible workspaces offer businesses the ability to access HQ-standard facilities.
Flex space has always been about helping businesses remain agile. Now that agility is no longer just a ‘nice to have’, it’s critical for survival.