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Why Now Is A Good Time To Talk About Flex

Hannah Watkins
Hannah Watkins|

There’s been a lot of talk about what’s to come in the next few months, and how the government will try to phase the UK back to a state of “normality”. But the uniqueness of the COVID-19 crisis means that from the economy to social distancing, many factors that have a significant impact on our professional and personal lives are still unknown—making it hard to make decisions far into the future.

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That’s why flexibility is so important, now more than ever—especially when it comes to your office space strategy. If you haven’t already, now is a great time for your business to talk about flexible office space. Below you’ll find three particularly compelling reasons why.

Not sure what flexible office space actually is? Here it is in a nutshell:

Whilst conventional leases require businesses to commit to an office for 5-10 years, flexible office space has much lower minimum terms, and is often charged on a monthly rolling basis.

Often serviced, this takes the hassle out of office management, simplifies costs into an all-inclusive monthly fee, and enables businesses to grow at their own pace.

Flexible office providers include big brands like WeWork, boutique brands like Second Home, or blank canvases where you can build your own brand.

Want to know more? Book a call with our experts at the link below:

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1. The future is uncertain

In this changeable economic and social climate, the flexible office industry offers a low-risk solution for companies in need of a physical office environment. Rather than tying yourself down for 5 or even 10 years, it allows you to take workspace only for as long as you need—whether that be a month, 6 months, or a year. 

This low-commitment format is particularly beneficial for those keen to stay responsive to new circumstances, as and when they arise (which is pretty regularly at present). So, if you need to grow, downsize, or move your business, you are free to do so—without being chained to a lengthy contract.

This attitude shift has been in the making for a number of years, with businesses such as TrustPilot, Oddbox, and PwC having already made the most of flex through HubbleHQ—but Coronavirus is likely to be the catalyst for a new wave of businesses looking to adopt flexible office space. Take Barclays for example—they’ve already announced that they’ll be rethinking their workspace strategy, and are looking to move to more distributed teams and offices in the future. Flexible office space allows businesses of all sizes to do just that.

2. Attitudes around remote working are shifting

As we all know, the world’s largest-ever remote working experiment is currently underway—with millions of employees working from home for a prolonged period for the very first time. 

As a result, many teams are now re-evaluating their office strategies in general; both employees and employers who have found the experience positive may continue some form of flexible working policy moving forward—potentially changing the amount of office space businesses need on a regular basis. remote-notion-900x600

Some businesses we’re talking to are looking to take office space for two-thirds of their team, for example, or considering “office rotas”. For others, this may not be appropriate. Certain roles and people are more suited to remote working than others, so it’s important to involve your team in these kinds of discussions.

Whatever your particular case may be, flexibility both in this period of transition and in the long-term will be hugely beneficial; opting for a conventional lease now commits you to one specific office space and size for the next 5-10 years, whilst flexible office space lets you respond quickly to the changing needs and preferences of your team in the most cost-effective way possible.

3. The role of the office is changing

Whilst for many, there have been a wealth of benefits to working from home, one of the main things that employees have said they’re missing right now is the sociability that comes with working in an office. Loneliness and mental health issues have been real concerns since the beginning of lockdown, and a lack of real-life interaction with colleagues plays a big part in that.

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Because whilst the future of work is likely to be more remote, it’s unlikely to be fully remote. We certainly anticipate a shift towards more positive attitudes to working from home, particularly when we need to focus on quiet, individual tasks—but this will be balanced out by a huge desire to collaborate and socialise with colleagues and clients in offices. As a result, physical environments will become even more essential in cultivating a sense of belonging within teams.

And that’s what serviced offices do. The flex industry is built around people, making it easy for businesses to tap into the facilities that make sociability not only possible, but optimal—without the cost and hassle. From breakout areas to event space, plug-and-play workspaces enable teams to access well-designed, community-based office space, without having to fork out time and money designing it. Or be tied to it for years to come.

Looking to find out how flexible office contracts could benefit your business in particular? Book a call with our expert advisors below—they can advise you on the best approach for you, and the service is completely free, from start-to-finish.

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