The world we live in is changing. The future is here, and that means more and more technologies that once were just pipedreams are now reality, or soon will be. The business workplace is perhaps the first space where these dreams can and should come true – how people are working, and how they want to work, is evolving year over year, day by day. Flexibility is key.
What is a flexible workspace?
The word ‘flexible’ has a number of different meanings when it comes to working and it might depend a little on who you ask as to the answer you get when you want a definition. So we’ll start with the workspace itself. A flexible workspace is one that can be used by a variety of different people (and different businesses) for a variety of different reasons. They can rent the space by the month, the day, even by the hour if they need an attractive, comfortable meeting room, for example. That’s why it’s flexible. You and your business use the space as you want to – and you won’t be paying for something you don’t need or want. This saves you a lot of money, and allows those employees who prefer to work from an office a central space to go to. Those who like working from home get to do that too. It means everyone is as productive as possible, which is great for your company’s bottom line.
Is there demand for flexible workspaces?
The short answer is a huge YES, there is absolutely a demand for this kind of flexible workspace. Ever since 2013 the use of these shared offices has doubled around the world, and they now account for around one third of all the flexible working offices you can find. With that kind of demand, it’s no surprise that more and more of these offices are shooting up– all good news for the entrepreneur or for an established business looking for ways to cut costs and grow efficiencies. But it’s perhaps more important for the upcoming generation. They don’t want to work in the same way as their parents or grandparents did; they don’t want to be beholden to the drudgery of the nine to five. They want to work when and how they want. They want to work where they want. Flexible workspaces allow for this, meaning talent is available to your business from much further afield.
Who needs flexible space?
So which companies need flexible space to help their workforce and their budget out? Although anyone and everyone can benefit from using these handy offices, it’s most often the technology companies that make the most use of them. This could be because these particular companies are always at the forefront of innovation, the early adopters of tech and new ideas. Smaller companies and start-ups are also likely to use this kind of flexible working approach to get the best out of their employees. In a world where real estate is no longer the sound investment it once was, buying or renting office space long term, particularly in a big city, just doesn’t make financial sense. Recently there has been an increase in larger, enterprise companies trying out the idea of flexible working space. It could be that when their leases are up they don’t renew and stick with the shared office ideal.
What is the future of flexible office space?
Time has only increased the need for more flexible working, and flexible workspaces fall squarely into that idea, giving all kinds of businesses the ease and cost-effective working spaces that they want whilst still maintaining a professional, comfortable, fully equipped office. When you think of something that is the best of both worlds, this kind of working is the kind of solution you come up with. Flexibility for all, increased productivity, and lower costs. This not only helps the business, but it goes on to help the consumer too.
In fact, with flexible office spaces increasing by a massive 22 percent over the past seven years (compared to just a one percent increase in standard office real estate), there seems to be no stopping this modern-day phenomenon.
Future offices may incorporate different floors for different sectors, for example, meaning that similar companies can work together in one space, fostering collaboration and encouragement. There may be additional ways for the landlords to make money, all of which will allow for easier use of the space by clients. There is a lot that can – and will – be done by those who are quick enough to understand the potential of this growing space trend.
Guest blog written by Becky Evans.