The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, including the way we work.
People all over the world are waking up to the benefits of flexible working; even employers who were once reluctant to let their teams WFH have found it to be a positive experience. Now, businesses of all shapes and sizes are exploring what this means for their future working policies.
With employees seeking more flexibility, and different workspaces to do different tasks, what’s clear is that the traditional, “one desk per employee” approach is no longer the best option for all businesses.
We asked over 1000 respondents, “How often would you want to work remotely in the future?” and a significant 86% stated they want to work somewhere other than the office at least once a week—though only 15% want to do so every day.
When not in the office, most people would like to work from home (79%), a coworking space (that is not their main office) (42%), abroad (42%), or from a cafe (31%). And interestingly, 35% of respondents want the freedom to work in different locations throughout the working week.
Clearly, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, which can be confusing for employers trying to work out what to do about their workplace strategy.
But the pandemic offers organisations a unique opportunity to reinvent how they operate, retaining the best parts of office culture while freeing themselves from bad habits and inefficient processes.
One such solution is ad hoc office space, where businesses give their employees access to workspaces when they need it, so they can work where they feel most productive.
Below, we explore this way of working and suggest some potential solutions for those looking for ad hoc office space.
Why are people looking for ad hoc office space?
Despite employees wanting to work remotely more regularly, many still want their company to have a physical office presence of some sort. Here’s why:
We still want to see each other in person
In our survey, a significant 75% of respondents reported missing the social interaction of seeing people in the office.
One respondent commented, “Having interaction with my team is better for my morale and mental health. It can be isolating to not have that human interaction.”
Most respondents said that they are keen to meet up with their direct team in person on some kind of regular basis—84% of respondents would like to do so at least once a month, and 55% at least once a week. And many people would want their whole company to get together 1-2 times a month (41%).
We still want to use office facilities
In our survey, a large portion of employees reported missing meeting rooms, free coffee, and places to do quiet focused work, amongst other things.
And 84% would like the ability to use a meeting room that’s not in their main office building with varying degrees of regularity, but mostly on an ad hoc basis, as and when they needed it.
We want to collaborate in person
The office still serves as an important place to foster ideation and collaboration that serve as the foundations for company and team culture.
When asked “what would you want the office for?”, 62.6% of respondents stated collaboration and 60.4% said for internal meetings.
Having everyone together in one room helps with the natural flow of conversation and ideas. And for many, it’s still a lot easier to brainstorm face-to-face with a good old-fashioned whiteboard than it is over Zoom.
But we don’t want to commute every day
The commute remains a big concern for many during the pandemic—one of the main reasons why workers are hesitant to return to the office is a reluctance to use public transport as people are worried about the risk of infection on crowded transport.
Plus, a huge 79.3% of respondents said that the lack of commute was actually one of the best things about working from home because of the financial savings and people are enjoying having more time to spend with loved ones.
As a result, there has been an increase in demand for workspaces closer to employees’ homes over recent months.
Ad hoc office space solutions
Once you’ve established how your team wants to work in the future, you can decide which ad hoc office space solution is best suited for your business, or you can test a number of the following ideas:
On-demand meeting rooms
Booking meeting rooms on a one-off or ad hoc basis is a great solution for teams who want to meet and collaborate regularly.
Companies like etc.venues provide businesses with access to meeting room facilities in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. We’ve teamed up with them to give you 25% off your company’s first booking when you book through HubbleHQ…and you get your sixth booking free!
Day passes at local coworking spaces
Many of the UK’s most popular coworking providers are offering day passes for those who want to get out of the house once or twice a week to access an external workspace.
As an employer, you could offer each of your team members a number of day passes, allowing employees to work from somewhere other than the kitchen table.
Keen to find out more about this concept? Get in touch.
Workspaces with multi-location access
Another option is to take office space with a provider that gives tenants access to any of the workspaces in their portfolio—so employees can choose to work in the one that’s most convenient for them. As well as having sites across various London boroughs and zones, some of these operators also have workspaces elsewhere in the UK or even the world, which is great for those team members who want to WFA (work from abroad).
“Third space” workspaces
There’s also an increasing number of “third space” workspaces available—i.e. places that are neither the home nor the office—with hotels, cafes, and bars making it possible for people to work from somewhere other than their kitchen table.
Companies might offer employees a budget to spend in these local third spaces, giving employees more options.
Find an ad hoc office space solution for your business
If you want your business to continue flexible working in the future, but your team still needs access to a workspace of some sort, then ad hoc office space could be the perfect solution for your business.
Before deciding which workspace option is right for you, it’s worth checking in with your team. You can use our free workplace strategy tool to find out how and where your employees want to work in the future. Helping you to find the right balance between remote working and office time for your team.
Our tenant advisors can also advise you on the most cost-efficient strategy for your employees, completely free of charge. And they can connect you with the workspaces that meet your requirements.